Epidemiological measures, fear of coronavirus infection and financial uncertainty were the main reasons for the large decline in the travel segment during the pandemic. But that, too, is slowly changing.
The growing percentage of vaccinated population has led to a decline in the number of infected and a more optimistic financial perspective, so more and more people are deciding on a well-deserved vacation, show the results of regular MasterIndex survey (sample of 1.043 users of banking services in Croatia aged 18 to 55) conducted for Mastercard by the Improve agency.
"It is certain that people want to travel and make up for the last months of missed travel experiences, and we expect trends such as increased interest in more secluded destinations, accommodation that provides additional security such as holiday homes, and higher-end hotels and car destinations.", Said Cosmin Vladimirescu, director of Mastercard in Croatia and Romania, adding that technological innovations and the offer of personalized travel services will play a major role in the recovery and revitalization of the tourism industry in this and the coming years.
A total of 68% of survey participants plan to spend their summer vacation in Croatia, which is significantly more compared to the survey conducted in April 2020 (54%).
Specifically, 39% of respondents said they would definitely go on vacation this year, a jump of 16 percentage points from a year earlier, while 29% of respondents said they were planning a trip but were not quite sure yet. Summer holidays are planned primarily by highly educated respondents, those with higher incomes and those from Zagreb or Northern Croatia (78%).
Financial uncertainty is the main reason for not going on vacation
Research participants who will not go on holiday this year explained such a decision for various reasons. 28% of them stated that the main reason was financial uncertainty, 21% stated that they gave up their holidays due to business obligations, and 20% of respondents said that the main reason they would not go to sea was their health concerns.
Interestingly, the coronavirus pandemic itself or health care in general was more often cited as a reason by respondents from Slavonia and those of men than women.
Most tourists from Croatia prefer private accommodation
According to new research, there are no major differences in the choice of accommodation compared to last year's results. Half of the respondents, exactly 50%, decide to stay in private accommodation during their holidays. In second place, 37% of respondents stay in their own cottage or with family or friends, and this accommodation option is most common among respondents from Zagreb (46%).
Only 17% of respondents stay in hotels, and these are mostly respondents from the group with the highest personal income, higher than HRK 12.000 (34% of them). Among the research participants, camping is the least popular option (5%), which is mostly chosen by respondents from Istria, Primorje or Gorski Kotar (15%).
Growth of reservations through specialized sites or travel agencies
In terms of accommodation reservations, the most common method is the use of specialized websites and travel agencies (55%), an increase of 7 percentage points compared to last year's results. This is followed by reservations via the website of the selected private accommodation (30%) and direct contact via e-mail or telephone (22% of respondents).
The most popular way to pay for accommodation is cash, for 48% of respondents. This is followed by payment by debit card (30%), and this method of payment increased by 5 percentage points compared to last year.
Debit card payment is the most common choice for the youngest group of respondents (18-29 years) and for respondents with higher or higher education. People in the age group of 30-39 most often pay in installment cards, and credit card payments are more chosen by men than women.
The choice of destination is mostly influenced by the price-quality ratio
Compared to last year’s results, the price of accommodation plays a much bigger role when choosing a travel destination.
Research has also shown that people are more looking for locations where there are no large crowds, such as smaller towns or islands. In addition, research participants pay significantly more attention to climatic conditions in certain locations. The gastronomic offer, various cultural events and the costs of the transport itself play a less important role in choosing the destination where the respondents will spend their vacation. The price-quality ratio is crucial for 64% of respondents, and the cost of accommodation is the most important factor in choosing a destination for 62%.
As expected, the youngest participants in the research have a great role in choosing a destination with the developed offer of places for night outs. Equally important to them are quality shopping options, but also the offer of specific events.
When choosing a destination, it is very interesting to notice the significant decline in the importance of other elements, which we mean by the specifics of individual locations. Compared to last year's survey, as many as 21% fewer respondents stated that different cultural contents play an important role in choosing a vacation spot, while in terms of gastronomic offer, 14% fewer respondents said they were important than last year.
Half of the respondents are not worried about traveling during a pandemic
In terms of travel, 51% of study participants had no fear of coronavirus. Of those surveyed who still have some concerns, the main fear relates to the possibility of virus infection. In addition, people are afraid of potential travel decisions due to 14-day quarantine, while 11% expressed concern that they will not be able to return home on time, ie at the time they decided. Only 5% of respondents said they were afraid of transmitting the infection to other people.
As many as 41% would feel safer if all tourists had a vaccination certificate or if travel agencies and other travel companies provided sufficient distance between seats. In terms of safer travel, 22% of respondents opted to ban boarding for passengers who have not passed health testing.
Travel plans after the coronary crisis: almost half want to travel abroad
In the event that all epidemiological measures are lifted and the pandemic ends, the majority of respondents (51%) would prefer to travel more in Croatia. Of the remaining respondents, 19% said they would like to travel to neighboring countries, and 18% of respondents want to visit other countries located on the European continent. Only 4% of respondents opted for travel outside the continent, while 8% of survey participants said they had no plans for future travel.