For-Sight’s Product Marketing Manager Jenna Wimshurst looks at how the vaccine and vaccine passports might influence travel intentions for consumers in 2021.
The Covid-19 pandemic is far from being completely over, so with no clear end in sight we’ve got to continue adapting to a new way of life, but what does that mean for the travel industry?
With restrictions being eased around the world, the demand for travel is returning and it’s returning in spades, however, the various traffic light systems, quarantine rules and safety concerns can be difficult to navigate.
Enter, the vaccines!
Stimulating confidence in travel
In a recent study conducted by Allianz Partners, 59% of consumers said having blocked seats/limited capacity on planes and trains would increase their confidence in travelling. However, a substantial 67% said that receiving a Covid-19 vaccine would make them feel safe enough to travel again.
The confidence in the vaccine is clearly strongest with the older generation, with 78% of over 65s placing more importance on receiving the vaccine in order to travel, compared to 59% of 45 – 64 years olds, and 47% of under 45s. (Allianz survey)
“Our survey finds that increased traveller confidence is a direct result of improved vaccine availability, and we are pleased to see how vaccines will impact the recovery of the travel industry and travellers’ vacation plans in 2021 and beyond.” Said Daniel Durazo, director of marketing and communications at Allianz Partners USA.
What about vaccine passports?
With countries like the UK, the USA and Israel rolling out their vaccines to large numbers of their adult population, people are more eager and ready than ever, to get out and travel.
Vaccination programs are also stimulating travel demand because many countries are stating that they will only accept fully vaccinated travellers (or will relax restrictions for those who are) including France, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Barbados.
Europe is getting ready to open up for summer 2021 with the introduction of their new Digital Covid Certificate scheme which officially launches on 1st July 2021 and will “provide safe free movement of citizens in the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Europeans, as a majority (56%) say they will go on holiday by the end of August 2021, either domestically or to another European country.” The European Travel Commision also reported that 1 in 2 Europeans feel more optimistic about travel as a result of the vaccine rollout.
The UK is also trialling an update to the NHS England app which will be able to show a person’s vaccination status and the results of any recent Covid-19 tests. With nearly 60% of the UK’s adult population being fully vaccinated, the government is also considering relaxing restrictions on return for fully vaccinated Britons travelling to countries across Europe and the US.
What about domestic travel?
Based on recent research carried out by GWI (Global Web Index), all countries that have administered a first dose to at least 25% of their population are seeing a strong rebound in travel interest.
It’s clear to see that vaccines are increasing the demand for travel, but with more international travel possible, what will happen to domestic travel and the #staycation?
According to GWI’s recent report, people’s motivations for travel have grown in some key areas, including visiting friends and family which is up 24% year-on-year, and the ease of travelling is also up by 19%, which is great news for the staycation market.
VisitBritain, the national tourism agency, is forecasting that recovery will increase significantly in the summer followed by gradual recovery throughout the rest of the year. They are also predicting £13.5bn in domestic overnight tourism spending (38% growth on 2020) and £38.6bn in leisure day trip spending (59% growth on 2020 level), another confidence boost for domestic travel.
Undoubtedly, the travel and tourism industries were two of the worst hit by the pandemic, with businesses forced to significantly reduce costs, let go of staff and sometimes close altogether.
But thanks to the vaccine roll out, the sector is due to bounce back both internationally and domestically, meaning that consumers can look forward to travelling and enjoying the wonders of the world and their own country without putting others at risk.
The road to recovery for the travel industry might be long, but it’s looking bright.