SINGAPORE, 23 July 2020: A new global study by Hotels.com uncovered five trends that are shaping travel around the world as the world battles Covid-19 pandemic.
Even as the pandemic limits vacation plans, people remain thirsty for travel, 84% of respondents admitting that they are looking forward to travelling again. However, while the desire for travel is strong, travel attitudes have also changed. 49% admit that they would still be nervous about travelling even after all travel bans and restrictions have been lifted. In fact, at least five out of 10 travellers require reassurance from local governments and health authorities before they start travelling again – 30% would feel most comfortable travelling again when a cure or vaccine has been developed, and 27% would feel reassured when the government confirms that travel is safe.
Travellers aren’t planning to pack light either. Maintaining personal hygiene takes precedence over staying connected and being fashionable on holiday as hand sanitizers (61%), surgical masks (51%), disinfectant wipes (47%) and travel insurance documents (43%) top the list of necessities to pack for their next vacation. Laptops, iPads, books and magazines (45%), as well as travel accessories such as jewellery, sunglasses and hats (42%) moved down the priority list.
Explore closer to home
Familiarity breeds comfort, as 33% want to explore more of their own country and revisit their past favourite places (31%) over discovering new places to travel to (27%) and visiting bucket list destinations (27%).
The desire to rediscover one’s own backyard is also evident, with 29% of respondents preferring to go on a domestic holiday over an international vacation (26%) when planning their next trip.
More travellers are seeking to improve their mental and physical wellbeing through travel. Globally, 86% of travellers believe that travelling is a post-pandemic stress buster that can enrich the mind, body and soul.
When it comes to wellness travel, it’s not just about getting massages or practising yoga anymore. Eating great food (55%) also plays an important role in nourishing the ‘belly’ and soul during travel.
This belief also extends to the stay experience, where 51% of travellers believe that having a good hotel buffet is key and ranked number one on the list of key amenities that accommodations should have in order to improve one’s personal wellbeing. Other important amenities include fresh towels (50%) and sanitation facilities such as public hand sanitizers (48%), which ranked second and third respectively.
Beach more, worry less
The trend of wanting to escape the hustle and bustle is also reflected in the types of accommodation travellers would choose to feel most relaxed. Beach resorts (44%), luxury five-star hotels (43%) and vacation rental (35%) emerged as some of the top accommodation choices for vacationers to feel the most at ease.
With 36% of consumers admitting that they would now actively avoid visiting crowded places once they start travelling again, it comes as no surprise that the lesser-known beaches would appeal to the cautious traveller.
It turns out, romantic getaways (25%) take a backseat to family holidays (38%), as the global pandemic seems to have struck a chord on the importance of family during this period. One of the top motivations for travelling – 38% of respondents would start travelling again to spend more time with family and friends they haven’t seen in a while. A holiday with family (40%) or partner (31%) is also the first thing that people plan to spend on when things get back to normal, over a big night out with friends (19%) or shopping (17%).
With wanderlust strongly embedded in the generation of today, it comes as no surprise that the need to travel for a change of scenery (45%) and to make the most of one’s freedom post-pandemic (41%) are among the top holiday motivators for travellers around the world.
(Source: Hotel.com study)