The data was presented on Thursday by Amadeus’ executives Ludo Verheggen and Anna Kofoed during the “Travel Tech Talk – Getting ready for a new travel landscape: what to expect from travel content and our travelers in 2021” webinar.
“We saw travel recovery during the summer months of 2020, which continued afterwards, fueled by domestic and short-haul travel but it came to a halt towards the end 2020 due to additional travel restrictions,” said Ludo Verheggen, Director Air Content Acceleration, Travel Channels during the event.
“The situation is very volatile at the moment… Some regions and countries are already impacted by the third wave, while the new strain of the virus has caused additional travel restrictions,” he added.
Recovery to start from 2022-23
Despite concerns about the future of travel, 83 percent of travel consultants interviewed by Amadeus believe that recovery will start from 2022 or 2023 with leisure travel expected to lead the way.
As the tourism industry evolves and adapts to the “new normal”, traveler expectations are also changing.
“One of the key challenges for the travel industry is that future demand might not look the way it is today or was in 2019. This means that we have to adapt and our agencies need to adjust their offer,” said Anna Kofoed, Senior Vice President, Retail for Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Europe, Travel Channels.
Based on Amadeus’ data, Kofoed presented five key trends expected to drive travel recovery:
1. Domestic travel will be the first to resume operations, since there are fewer restrictions (compared to international travel) and people feel more safe to travel
2. Leisure travel will come back before business travel
3. Young people (under 30) will travel first since they are not in the risk group for Covid-19
4. Hotels and car rental are expected to recover faster than airlines, as people prefer to travel closer to home
5. Travelers opt for longer stays focusing on quality and safety rather than quick and frequent journeys.
Leisure travel to resume first
Focusing on leisure travel, Kofoed presented interesting data that emerged from a survey conducted among 8,500 of Amadeus’ CheckmyTrip travel app users.
According to survey’s the main conclusions:
– 71 percent plan to travel immediately or between 1-3 months after travel restrictions are lifted. Only 10 percent will wait for more than six months.
– 70 percent expect to have the same or more budget available for holidays
– 58 percent of travel agency leaders confessed they feel positive about the future.
Sentiments about business travel
Regarding business travel, Amadeus estimates that corporate travelers will look towards other means of transport, beyond air, once travel restrictions are lifted.
Furthermore, the acceleration of digitization will lead to higher demand for self-booking tools and self-servicing.
Also, there’s going to be a shift from unmanaged to managed travel to facilitate duty of care, manage disruption and improve traveler end-to-end experience.
Meanwhile, the MICE industry is undergoing a deep transformation with the number of hybrid events expected to increase in the future combining face-to-face with virtual events.
Ways to accelerate recovery
Creating a safe travel environment is of paramount importance for the recovery of tourism, according to Kofoed.
“One key element is to ensure that there is enough information at the fingertips of travelers and travel agencies play a key role,” she said, adding that “this is why Amadeus is providing travel agencies with information they can offer to travelers about where to go and what restrictions are in place”.
Furthermore, Amadeus is focusing on its collaboration with industry players in order to achieve a safe travel ecosystem, while developing a better and richer content for its partners.