Booking.com combined a survey of more than 20.000 passengers (500 passengers from Croatia) from 28 countries with its own data to reveal nine travel-related predictions in the coming years.
Given that more than half of global travelers (53%) and as many as 41% of Croatian travelers said they would not be comfortable traveling until a vaccine or effective treatment for coronavirus was found, it could be a long time before we start researching again. the world as before.
Nevertheless, the travel sector will continue to adapt quickly and meet the need to travel when it is safe again, says the conclusion of a survey conducted by Booking com with the aim of predicting travel-related in the coming years.
Sthe world of travel will forever remain changed by this unforgettable moment in human history. Innovation in the world of travel will be faster than ever before to respond to market changes when it comes to passenger expectations and behavior. The research data also show that passengers will strive for a higher level of safety and more sustainable travel offers, and their preferences will also change when it comes to where and with whom they will travel,
The research was conducted on a sample of adults who have traveled on business or private in the last 12 months and plan to travel in the next 12 months (if and when travel restrictions are lifted). A total of 20.934 respondents from 28 countries participated, and respondents completed an online survey in July 2020.
BOOKING.COM: NINE FORECASTS ON THE FUTURE OF TRAVEL
- INSATIGIBLE DESIRE FOR TRAVEL
Amid new constraints and continuing uncertainty, travelers ’desire to travel has not diminished. During recent periods of isolation, as many as four out of five passengers from Croatia were excited about the possibility of traveling again, while 63% stated that they would appreciate traveling more and would not take it for granted in the future.
Time spent at home has led us to crave the outside world more, with as many as 46% of Croatian travelers citing an increased desire to travel to distant destinations, and 41% wanting to travel more in the future to make up for lost time in 2020. Moreover, 41% of travelers from Croatia plan a trip to make up for missed opportunities to celebrate due to coronavirus (such as a round birthday or wedding), while 31% plan to re-book a trip they had to cancel.
With that in mind, we can expect travel agencies to become more creative in 2021 and offer new travel plans and recommendations to stimulate the imagination of all those travelers who missed traveling in 2020 and who will be looking for some impressive destination to their next journey any more significant.
2. GREATER VALUE FOR MONEY
As a consequence of the financial legacy of the coronavirus, it is inevitable that people will seek greater value for their money in the future. As many as 67% of Croatian travelers will pay more attention to price when searching and planning a trip, and 65% said they are more likely to seek promotional offers and savings, and such behavior patterns are expected to last for years.
As many as 76% of passengers from Croatia state that they would like travel booking platforms to provide greater transparency when it comes to cancellation conditions, refund payment procedures and travel insurance options. Furthermore, 56% consider accommodation with a refund option necessary for their next trip, and the same is true for 33% of travelers from Croatia when it comes to the flexibility to change the date at no extra charge.
While travelers from Croatia want to support the tourism sector in its recovery (72%) and want their future reservations to help rebuild communities around the world (67%), they will also expect much more in return. The world of tourism will need to unite to respond creatively to challenges and offer better value, greater choice, greater flexibility and transparency, and more meaningful experiences for future travelers who will question their investment decisions in 2021 and beyond.
3. LOCAL TRAVELERS, NOT TOURISTS
In the new world with coronavirus, local travel has come to the fore because it is still a simpler, safer and most often sustainable option. Looking to the future, staying closer to home and turning guests into local travelers, not tourists, will be at the very top of travel plans. A total of 55% of passengers from Croatia in the near future will still plan to travel within their own country (7-12 months), while 50% of passengers from Croatia plan to do so in the distant future (in more than a year).
When it comes to local travel, 49% of respondents from Croatia plan to explore a new destination within their region / country, 68% will take the time to experience the natural beauty of their own country, while 57% of Croatian travelers will travel somewhere they have already been because they will know that destination.
Traveling to nearby destinations saves money and time, so destinations and accommodations will respond by offering more tours of a destination’s cultural and historical heritage to educate while also entertaining visitors and trying to win tourists ’favor with unique offerings such as are guest chefs and personalized cocktails.
Since the start of travel restrictions, the use of the ‘welcome pets’ filter has more than doubled on Booking.com, so the travel world will increasingly have to adapt to pets. All of this will lead to a resurgence in the popularity of car trips, where travelers will explore local hidden gems.
Travelers, of course, will not forget their love of traveling to distant destinations. Affinity to known destinations nearby will be just as important as waiting for long trips because almost a quarter of people (21%), and the same is true for 9% of passengers from Croatia, plan to travel to the other side of the world by the end of 2021 global passengers, and 6% of passengers from Croatia by the end of 3.
4. IN SEARCH OF ESCAPE FROM REALITY
In search of comfort and distraction during the weeks of isolation, most travelers from Croatia (97%) spent time looking for inspiration for travel, with more than a third of passengers (37%) looking for potential travel destinations even once a week.
Given the constant changes when it comes to travel restrictions, we can expect destinations and accommodations to find increasingly innovative ways to take advantage of travelers ’growing desire to escape reality and thus connect them to patiently awaiting experiences. Accommodation facilities will be much more active on social media, where they will use content created by influencers before the isolation period, and tourist boards will create inspirational computer-generated content (CGI) to highlight all the interesting destinations they offer.
Social networks are not the only source of inspiration for global travelers when it comes to fantasizing about their next trip - 36% of travelers choose to talk to friends and family to encourage their creativity when it comes to travel. One-third of guests (32%) nostalgically review old photos from previous trips to choose their next destination.
5. SAFETY COMES FIRST
Travelers from Croatia (78%) will be much more cautious given the coronavirus situation and will expect the travel sector to help them prepare for the new normal. Governments, travel associations and service providers will need to work together to set consistent standards to preserve passenger safety, and as expectations rise, some destinations and companies will need to do extra to gain the trust of travelers.
50% of travelers from Croatia will avoid certain destinations, and 68% expect that tourist attractions will adapt to the conditions in order to enable social distance. At the same time, 67% of travelers from Croatia will book a certain accommodation facility only if it is clearly stated which health and hygiene measures they implement, while 69% of travelers from Croatia prefer facilities that offer antibacterial and disinfection products.
In the short term, there will be a change in preferences when it comes to transport, with 37% of passengers from Croatia avoiding public transport for fear of coronavirus infection. In the circumstances of the ‘new normal’, travelers will also attach increasing importance to health and safety measures. As we are used to traveling without liquids in hand luggage and taking off our shoes to go through airport security checks, 50% of Croatian passengers will choose destinations that offer health checks upon arrival at the destination, and 35% will accept the commitment wearing protective masks in public which is half less than 62% of global passengers. Quarantine measures will remain less popular, with a much smaller number of global guests (27%), and the same applies to only 10% of passengers from Croatia, willing to accept them so they can travel to a specific destination.
6. RAISING AWARENESS OF ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
Almost half of Croatian travelers (49%) plan to travel in a more sustainable way in the future, which is why we expect greater environmental awareness in 2021 and beyond because coronavirus has raised awareness of the impact man has on the environment and local communities. More than half of Croatian travelers (53%) expect the travel sector to offer more sustainable options, and passengers will accordingly choose alternative destinations in order to avoid traveling during the peak season (53%) and overcrowding (57%). This desire also means that 53% of travelers from Croatia will avoid tourist attractions where there are a lot of people, which suggests that destinations will have to adapt and introduce new, more intelligent measures to attract travelers visiting their country.
The current coronavirus situation has prompted more than half of Croatian travelers (52%) to consider reducing waste and / or recycling plastics when traveling after lifting restrictions, showing that people are not only focused on protecting themselves, but also destinations that they visit.
7. WORK OUTSIDE THE OFFICE
Working outside the office became a part of everyday life during the pandemic, showing that in the future people will go on longer trips where they will be able to combine work and pleasure in a more efficient way. Given that people are no longer sentenced to five days in the office and are desperately seeking a change of environment due to working from home, we will notice a significant increase in vacations combined with work, with travelers trying to extend their travels to new locations and stay a week or two longer to work outside the office or will arrange a vacation while on a business trip. We expect that laptops will be a necessary part of luggage more often than before, and an attractive place to work will be extremely important to travelers when choosing accommodation.
Almost a third of passengers from Croatia (28%) have already considered booking accommodation in order to change the location of work to another destination, with 51% of passengers from Croatia willing to go to quarantine if they could work outside the office. Travel platforms and accommodation facilities will give priority to highlighting office content at home and the speed of wireless internet to attract a new group of digital nomads. In the world of business travel, we will see an increase in demand for privacy, cleanliness and longer stays. And while companies will certainly consider their approach to business travel in the future, workers will continue to get the most out of their travel, with 45% of Croatian travelers taking the opportunity to extend their business travel and enjoy free time at a destination.
8. LITTLE JOYS
A lot of time spent at home with loved ones has led to an adjustment of priorities when it comes to travel and a desire to enjoy more the natural resources we have at our disposal. The use of recommendations related to small joys such as hiking (94%), clean air (50%), nature (44%) and relaxation (33%) on Booking.com has increased since the beginning of the pandemic, and research shows that more out of two thirds of travelers from Croatia (71%) intend to appreciate simple experiences more, such as spending time with family outdoors while on vacation. As many as 42% of travelers from Croatia will be looking for more rural and less visited destinations in order to truly enjoy the outdoors.
Given the current emphasis on privacy, ample space and personal control over cleanliness and hygiene, it is not surprising that travelers will increasingly look for accommodation 'closer to home', with 61% of Croatian travelers preferring a holiday home or apartment instead in the hotel, compared to 2019, when 64% of passengers preferred to stay in the hotel ****.
Almost half of global travelers (46%), and the same is true for 27% of travelers from Croatia, will prefer to eat inside the facility compared to going to restaurants, so well-equipped kitchens will be key to renting private accommodation in the future.
Holidays on the beach will be at the top of the list when it comes to the 'new normal', with more than half of travelers from Croatia (54%) saying that this is their preferred type of travel, followed by relaxing trips (54%) and a visit to a city (28%).
9. SPONTANEOUS USING TECHNOLOGY
Technological innovations will play an important role when it comes to rebuilding passengers' self-confidence and we will increasingly have the opportunity to witness the use of technology to make it easier to adapt to a new type of passenger. Technology will help us bring back spontaneity, confidence and simplicity from the past, while helping people travel in a safer and more responsible way.
Already, 64% of travelers agree that technology will play an important role in controlling health risks when traveling, and 63% of travelers say accommodation will need to use the latest technologies to enable a safer way to travel. More than half of passengers (53%) will look for technology options so they can book a table at a restaurant at the last minute, and almost a quarter (21%) will expect more self-contained devices instead of ticket counters and tickets. More than half of the passengers (55%) are also excited about the potential of the technology to further personalize their future travel experience. More than a third of travelers (36%) would feel more comfortable when visiting an unknown destination if they could previously explore it using virtual reality (VR).
Cover photo: Booking.com / Illustration HrTurizam.hr