After two years of border closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a recent survey by global technology company Travelport has highlighted excitement to travel in 2022 and finds people prioritizing trips over entertainment, shopping and even self-care.
In a study commissioned by Travelport and conducted by Toluna Research, more than 2,000 respondents from seven different countries – the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Hong Kong SAR, India, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates – said they’d even be willing to give up some of their favorite things for six months or longer in order to travel.
However, the survey also found that many people do not find booking travel enjoyable and find the process frustrating.
“While the last two+ years have been a significant challenge, the global travel industry recovered more than 50 percent of its gross activity by the end of 2021,” said Jen Catto, Chief Marketing Officer for Travelport.
“Should this trend continue along the same trajectory, it could reach 85 percent recovery by the end of this year. The pent-up desire to travel is strong. Our latest survey findings clearly demonstrate this, highlighting how many indulgences people are willing to sacrifice in order to travel again.”
Booking travel frustrates consumers
However, not every aspect of the travel experience received the same level of enthusiasm. A notable experience gap emerged between the high degree of enjoyment respondents get from going on holiday and the frustration they experienced when booking that very same trip.
The survey’s 43 percent of US respondents, the largest travel region, do not find booking travel enjoyable but 95 percent of that same group enjoy the experience of being on holiday.
Globally, travel was ranked as the number one most enjoyable activity, but when it came to shopping for travel, the industry dropped to the number four spot, trailing the worlds of clothing, restaurants and electronics. And this isn’t just a generational issue. A quarter of Gen Z respondents agreed the complexity of searching, comparing and booking travel offers “just isn’t fun”.
On average, travelers’ visit a whopping 38 different websites before booking their trip. Other industries have steamed ahead in terms of simplicity and innovation, evolving with their consumers’ sophisticated expectations, and shifting perceptions over time. Study respondents found the travel industry to be an outlier, perceiving it to be even less innovative than the finance industry.
The time has come to listen to consumers, fix travel retail
“Shopping for travel is complicated, which is why Travelport has made simplifying the complex travel ecosystem its mission,” continued Catto.
According to Catto, with demand for travel rebounding at its strongest pace since the pandemic began, it’s imperative the industry listens to its customers.
“Now is the time for us to fix travel retail, putting consumer convenience, digital experience, and breadth of choice above all. By restoring clarity, confidence, and fun to travel shopping, we can grow trust, generate repeat business and inspire true loyalty – the benchmark of successful modern retailing.”
Travelport is a global technology company that powers bookings for hundreds of thousands of travel suppliers worldwide.