As 2020 comes to an end, leaders in governments and key industries are working to determine how people can safely return to work, particularly in travel and tourism where jobs in hospitality, airlines, cruises, travel agencies, car rentals, rideshares, events, attractions and so much more, accounted for 1 in 10 jobs in the world pre-COVID. (Source: World Travel & Tourism Council)
To gain more insight into how the travel industry and governments can work to rebuild traveler confidence, Amadeus, a global leader in travel technology, commissioned research to learn more about traveler’s top concerns and what types of technology would help travellers feel safe and comfortable enough to travel and help spur recovery of the travel sector.
Informed by over 6,000 travellers across India, Singapore, France, Germany, UK and US, the study found that technology plays a crucial role in supporting recovery, as over 4 in 5 (84 per cent) travellers said technology would increase their confidence to travel in the next 12 months by addressing concerns around mixing with crowds, social distancing and physical touchpoints. Approximately 1,000 respondents came from India.
When asked about what would make them more likely to travel, respondents in India say:
- Access to technology that reduces human contact, queues and physical touchpoints were the ultimate factor for getting Indian people traveling again (40 per cent). This was especially important for Baby Boomers, where 73 per cent of respondents cited it as their top concern compared with 28 per cent of Generation Z.
- This was followed by the need for effective test, track and trace programmes to contain infections (40 per cent); visibility to and assurance of sanitization, hygiene and safety measures in hotels and accommodations (39 per cent) and limiting the number of passengers on flights (38 per cent).
- Mobile applications that provide on-trip notifications and alerts emerged as the most appealing technology to increase confidence for Indian travellers (56 per cent). This was followed by the need for contactless payments (54 per cent) and the ability to have airline boarding passes on their phones (51 per cent).
- Baby Boomers were much more open to facial recognition technologies (53 per cent) compared with their Generation Z counterparts (24 per cent) For Millennial and Generation X respondents, automated cleaning processes ranked similarly in the level of importance (49 per cent vs 52 per cent).
- Meanwhile, passengers taking long-haul flights were more likely to require mobile boarding passes than short-haul passengers (62 per cent vs 53 per cent ), while 50 per cent of leisure passengers would use contactless payments over 47 per cent of business travellers.
- Long-haul flight passengers were slightly more likely than short-haul flight passengers to be concerned about being stranded (27 per cent vs 31 per cent) or quarantined (39 per cent vs 34 per cent).
- Technologies that ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of national test, track and trace programmes were most important to Baby Boomers (47 per cent), followed by Generation X (40 per cent), Millennials (33 per cent), and Generation Z (21 per cent).
Notably, the survey found that technology receptiveness and preferences differ by country and demographic, underscoring the importance of personalization in gaining traveler trust. Insights include:
- Almost half (47 per cent) of Baby Boomers said they would need to be able to socially or physically distance throughout the journey, compared to less than 3 in 10 (27 per cent) of Generation Z.
- Over half (52 per cent) of travellers in Singapore selected contactless experiences at hotels as a technology that would make them more likely to travel, while almost half of Indian travellers (47 per cent) selected mobile applications that inform them of the destination city’s safety measures.
- A quarter (25 per cent) of UK travellers and just over a quarter (26 per cent) of US travellers said they’d most like technology to reduce the need for them to have physical documents. Additionally, three in 10 German and UK travellers (30 per cent) said they’d most like technology to minimize their physical contact with others.
Overall, the priorities Indian travellers wanted from technology were for it to:
- Minimise face-to-face or physical contact with others (34 per cent)
- Reduce queues and congestion in public places (32 per cent), compared to 45 per cent in Singapore
- Protect financial data and personal information (32 per cent), slightly less than Singapore (37 per cent)
- Minimise the requirement for physical documents (31 per cent)
Ultimately, as stakeholders work to rethink travel, survey results show that the top five ways to build travp099
Tetaz continues, “Beyond technology, collaboration across industry and governments will continue to be key to this recovery. Together, we need to educate and provide travellers with the right information around safety and sanitisation measures during the stages of their journey. For example, we have seen that social distancing and hygiene while traveling remains a high traveler concern, despite recent research from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on the extremely low rates of transmissions onboard aircraft due to cabin air filtering systems and other protection measures. Giving travellers easy access to the information they need to be assured of their safety is a fundamental tool in order to build traveler confidence and speed up recovery.”