Majority ‘more likely to travel’ with airport testing in place

The majority (85%) of travellers surveyed would be more likely to travel internationally if airport testing was in place, a new study reveals.

The Skyscanner Covid-19 traveller sentiment data shows that travellers are reacting in real time to the latest information about border and movement restrictions.

When the government added Portugal to the country’s safe travel list in August, bookings spiked by more than 2000% immediately following the announcement.

Quarantine restrictions on returning travellers from mainland Portugal was reinstated later in the month.

“With health factors currently one of the biggest barriers to booking, restoring trust and confidence through clarity is essential for the sector’s recovery,” the global flight search firm said.

“A new, complex decision-making process has emerged amongst those willing to travel and it relates to their individual appetite to risk.

“Factors across five categories – health, financial, social, ethical and recreational – are now top of mind.

“This is shaping a new demographic of travellers – male travellers are more likely to book than female (54%) and those with children are more likely to book than those without (55%).”

A new report by Skyscanner shows that a quarter (24%) of Europeans believe it is safe to travel internationally now, compared to 21% in the Americas and just 10% in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Search patterns for domestic, regional and international flights reflect this sentiment and point towards a multispeed recovery, tied to the global economy and driven by low cost carriers,” the company said.

Budget airlines are predicted to have the fastest route to recovery, “owing to their business operations and point to point models.

“At the same time, the decline in business travel revenues for full-service carriers points to an uncertain future for this fare class and a need for innovation.”

Sustainable travel concerns are no longer top of mind for many travellers, the research reveals.

“But as destinations previously suffering from over-tourism begin to re-open, the sector has a unique opportunity to redesign old travel patterns and re-architect the tourism industry for the benefit of local communities, the environment and travellers alike,” Skyscanner added.

Chief executive Moshe Rafiah said: “Where they are able and willing, travellers are pioneering new ways to explore the world.

“Whether it’s shortening the timeframe in which they plan and take a trip, tackling complex risk assessments before deciding to travel, or expecting previously unseen levels of clarity to ensure confidence in their booking, the new shape of travel is emerging.

“As an industry we have a unique opportunity to not only help travellers navigate this new world, but to work collaboratively to ensure a swift, safe and sustainable recovery.”

Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.