without the help of a travel agent,’ says Andrew Gay, managing director, retail in travel channels, Pacific, with Amadeus.
The majority of ANZ travellers remain steadfast in their commitment to resume leisure travel by the end of the year, according to data just released by Amadeus. The question remains when, where and how they can best do so.
In the Destination X: Where to Next survey of 350+ CheckMyTrip users across Australia and New Zealand, 76.4% have a strong desire to travel domestically, with more than half seeking a trip duration of 14 days or more and 68.4% wanting at least one to three trips over the next year.
Visiting family and friends is the main reason to plan and book travel in the coming months for two thirds (67%) of ANZ travellers. Further, 35% of them want to satisfy their pent-up wanderlust by exploring ‘unfamiliar destinations’ and 27% of travellers are looking to ‘celebrate an occasion’ on their next trip.
Gay says the desire to travel is strong in Australia and New Zealand. ‘Despite border restrictions, travellers are energised and ready to holiday within their own shores this holiday season, to reunite with their family and friends or explore new destinations that offer a sense of mystery and adventure. However, their behaviours have changed; travellers are not willing to commit to holiday plans without guaranteed flexibility and refunds, and Covid-19 factors like testing measures and onsite cleanliness now weigh in when evaluating destination, accommodation and transport options.’
In interviews conducted by Amadeus with travel agency executives across ANZ, 37% believe the way they sell will change in 2021-22, with 78% expecting leisure travel demand from international students, repatriation flights and packages for upcoming school holidays. Meantime, 28% believe that health will impact booking and travel, while 22% believe that transportation capacity will.
Not so fast – more research before booking likely
Travel spontaneity might be a thing of the past, with ANZ travellers spending more time researching before booking their next getaway, the latest data from Amadeus shows.
Sixty percent of travellers said that ‘recovery from the Covid-19 health crisis’ is the top influencing factor when choosing a destination, followed by ‘a price that fits my budget’ (58%). ‘Refundable flights’ are ‘very important’ or ‘somewhat important’ to 88%.
Convincing ANZ travellers that it is safe to travel via airlines will be a priority for travel sellers, with 31% of travellers saying that they are ‘less than comfortable with flying but will continue to do so’. Sixty seven percent of travellers said it was ‘very important’ to understand airline and airport Covid-19 prevention handling measures prior to booking and throughout their journey.
When asked about how and where travel agents can best assist, 24% of ANZ travellers are expecting more recommendations for their travel than before Covid-19, with 25% planning to use travel agents for flexibility or to make changes. Nearly 40% expect contact with travel agents prior to booking and at all phases of their trip. While ANZ travellers believe travel agent assistance is needed for international travel, only 15% of them plan to use agents for domestic trips.