Sustainable tourism, quality/price ratio, importance of family or technologies… Here are all the things that will make it easier for travelers to (re)leave in the months and years to come.
The post-crisis travel of the Covid-19 will be different. To adapt to the expectations of tomorrow’s travelers, several specialist companies, such as Booking.com and Orchestra, are conducting studies to anticipate their expectations now. Here are five criteria to be taken into account by tourism professionals to continue to satisfy their customers as much as possible.
- Sustainable tourism
Criterion already increasingly present before the crisis, the desire for a more sustainable tourism has been strengthened in recent months. This is the finding of the new study by Orchestra, the software platform dedicated to the tourism sector in SaaS mode. According to this study, 2/3 of travelers want to rely on the expertise of tourism companies (airlines, cruise lines, hotels, tour operators) to implement programs to absorb their emissions, and a quarter even advocate that this becomes mandatory. Nearly 3 out of 4 travelers are willing to pay more (by at least 5%) to ensure that 100% of their travel-related emissions are absorbed.
The same is true for Booking.com, which a few days ago unveiled its 9 predictions for the future of travel. The e-commerce company specialized in tourism indicates that almost half of the French travelers (47%) questioned in its survey* want to travel in a more environmentally friendly way in the future. And nearly two-thirds of respondents (63%) expect the travel industry to offer more sustainable options.
- Quality/price ratio and flexibility
The health crisis – and its impact on consumers’ finances – is pushing travelers to pay even more attention to the quality-price ratio of the trips they book. The Booking.com study shows that 58% of French people surveyed will pay more attention to prices when researching and organizing their future trips. Almost half (46%) will rely on offers and promotions to save money. “These behaviors will probably continue for several more years,” warns the e-commerce site in its report.
In addition, tourism professionals are expected to work on their modification and cancellation policies. Flexibility is the watchword. While 71% of French travelers say they expect travel booking platforms to be more transparent about cancellation conditions, refund processes and holiday insurance options, 46% of those surveyed even believe that it is essential that their next holiday is refundable. Finally, 36% want to be able to change their dates at no cost. A desire already heard by many tour operators, who have been adapting their policies for several months to allow their customers to leave with complete peace of mind.
- Escape… nearby
Another trend that has been reinforced during the health crisis is the need to get away without going too far. The end of the pandemic should encourage many French people to travel. The proof is in the numbers, with a large majority of them (90%) taking advantage of the lockdown to look for travel ideas, and 36% consulting potential destinations at least once a week, according to Booking.com. “The desire for original destinations and the enjoyment of sharing vacation memories with loved ones will continue to grow exponentially in the coming year,” Booking.com believes. The desire to go is there!
But perhaps tourism companies will have to increase their production in France. 49% of respondents plan to travel to France in the medium term (within 7 to 12 months) and 40% in the long term (more than 1 year). Travel agencies, which sell a lot of trips abroad, can nevertheless take comfort in the fact that nearly a quarter of French people (18%) plan to travel to the other side of the world by the end of 2021.
- Family and fun
Another trend to follow is family travel and the search for original or authentic experiences. 70% of French travelers surveyed by the booking platform want to enjoy more time spent outdoors or with family, according to Booking.com. The same is true of the recent “Industry Micro-Shifts” study conducted by Facebook. According to this survey, about 33% of French people now say that they prefer to travel with their family.
When it comes to activities, more than half of Booking.com respondents (57%) will be looking for more rural and off-the-beaten-path experiences, especially to reconnect with nature. Meeting local people is also important.
The last but not least criterion to be taken into account by tourism companies is obviously technological innovation. The current health crisis has led 55% of French people to believe that technology will play a major role in limiting health risks when traveling, and 51% say that accommodations will need to take advantage of the latest technology to make their guests feel safe, according to the Booking.com study.
But beyond the health aspect, technology should also make it easier for travelers to personalize their experiences. Online initiatives (virtual tours, etc.) could also help sales. Nearly a quarter of respondents (23%) said they would feel more confident about traveling to an unfamiliar destination if they could experience it in advance using virtual reality. So we’ll have to innovate again!