An independent research released by Travelport on August 25 has found that the majority of travellers will consider booking domestic and international trips, but only if airlines, airports, hotels and car rental companies collectively implement 10 different safety measures throughout their journey.
The study was conducted in July 2020 with 5,000 travellers across the US, UK, India, Australia and New Zealand, as well as in-depth interviews with 29 leading travel suppliers.
The 10 separate safety measures survey respondents want adopted by airports, airlines, hotels and car rental companies include social distancing rules, mandatory use of face masks, and ready access to sanitising gel or wipes, face masks and gloves
The percentage figures represent the number of travellers that said they will not travel unless the respective measure is in place.
Overall, more than half of travellers said that to consider booking a flight, they need to know in advance that a wide array of specific measures have been implemented by both the airport and airline.
At the airport, these include temperature checks on arrival (66%), plexi-glass at check-in desks (58%), and managed boarding by row (56%).
For travellers to have the confidence to book a hotel room, the study showed the majority want six specific safety measures in place, including enhanced cleaning (73%) and guest services accessible via their mobile phone (51%).
To book a car rental, according to the study, the majority of travellers want five key safety measures in place both at rental destinations and in vehicles, including contactless car collection and drop-off (55%).
Greg Webb, Travelport CEO, said: “Over the last few months, the travel industry has rolled out many initiatives to support a safe, healthy and responsible return for travel. This study highlights the criticality these measures are now playing in restoring traveller confidence. However, for the majority of travellers to return to the skies, the industry now needs to work together to not only ensure a wide array of safety measures are in place throughout the travel journey, but to collectively communicate these changes to travelers using a range of channels and merchandising technologies.”
On a country level, the study revealed demand for almost every safety measure is highest in India.
Demand in New Zealand, while still high, tended to be the lowest across the five countries assessed.
When it comes to age groups, demand for robust safety measures was again high across all categories, however, it was highest among baby boomers and lowest among millennials.
Derek Sadubin, managing director, CAPA – Centre for Aviation, added: “Health and safety is understandably front of mind for travellers right now. The travel industry recognises and respects this and, what’s encouraging, is that many suppliers, such as airlines, have already implemented the safety measures travellers say they need to book a domestic or international trip – but we still have a long way to go. Collaboration and communication are now key to restoring traveller confidence and securing a strong and responsible industry recovery.”
The safety measures currently being undertaken by more than 80 of the world’s largest airlines can be found in the recently launched Travelport Airline Health & Safety Tracker. The tool, which is free of charge and available to both Travelport customers and the wider industry, is delivered to both online and offline travel agencies through the Travelport COVID-19 Smartpoint Plugin, Travelport’s API-based merchandising solution, Branded Fares Data File, and through the company’s COVID-19 Resource Hub for the general public.
The full results of both the quantitative and qualitative components of the research are captured in Travelport’s Guide to Travel Recovery report, which can be downloaded from the company’s COVID-19 Resource Hub.