Booking.com reveals UK traveller confidence, outlooks and trip preferences ahead of getting back to travel
Following a year of restrictions, new Booking.com research reveals travel optimism, a desire for spa breaks and Brit’s response to the vaccine rollout and passports
- Two in three UK travellers (68%) feel more hopeful about travelling in 2021, in light of the recent vaccine rollout
- However, 64% of UK travellers won’t travel internationally until they have been vaccinated - rising to 76% for those aged 55+
- 67% of UK travellers are willing to accept only being able to travel if they could prove they have been vaccinated.
- Over one third of Brits (36%) have banked more annual leave, so are excited about the potential of taking longer holidays in 2021
- Brits have missed travel so much, that 71% would rather go on holiday this year than find true love, whilst 74% would prefer a getaway to getting promoted
LONDON, 7 APRIL 2021 – The impact COVID-19 has had on our daily lives has made the past year one of the hardest we’ve had to endure. Maintaining distance and staying home has become the new normal. While tough days may still be ahead, new research reveals that our appetite to explore the world remains.
With a mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, leading digital travel platform Booking.com reveals insights from more than 28,000 travellers across 28 countries and territories* which shows that after months of restrictions, UK travellers have increasing confidence in travel and as it becomes safe to travel again, uncovers attitudes towards the vaccine rollout, the types of trips Brits are wanting to take and just how much of a priority travel will be post-pandemic.
Vaccine Rollout Fuelling Travel Optimism
Despite knowing that the pandemic finish line hasn’t been reached just yet, in light of the vaccine rollout in the UK, over two thirds of Brits (68%) feel more hopeful about travelling in 2021. About the same amount state (64%) that not being able to travel extensively in 2020 has made them yearn for travel even more in 2021.
Brits’ trust in vaccines in fact runs very deep, with 64% confirming they won’t travel internationally until they have been vaccinated, which rises to 76% among those 55+ years old, while 56% will only travel to countries that have implemented vaccination programs.
Travel Wins in Post Pandemic Priorities
UK travellers acknowledge that not being able to travel as normal in 2020 has had a significant effect on their wellbeing. However, with over one third of Brits banking more annual leave, the potential of taking longer holidays in 2021 is very much fuelling excitement.
Interestingly, nearly two in three Brits confirm that travel is more important to them now than it was before the pandemic. So much so that:
- 71% would rather go on holiday this year than find true love
- 74% would rather take a getaway than get promoted at work
- 71% would rather take a trip than buy a new car
- 53% would rather travel than have dinner with their extended family
Beach and Spa Trips Come Up Trumps
Despite domestic trips looking to dominate for summer 2021, over a third of UK travellers plan to get away as far as possible once travel restrictions are lifted (36%). And, when dreaming about their next holiday, 22% say a relaxing beach or spa trip will be the first type of trip they take when it’s safe to do so, whilst only 4% will book an active trip and just 5% say a city break is a priority. With awareness of the turmoil the travel industry has faced since the start of the pandemic, off-the-beaten-track style travel may also be popular, with 19% planning to travel to less frequented destinations to support the travel industry.
The Unexpected Things We Have Missed
Our nostalgia is ever strong, and it’s not just the trip itself Brits have missed. We’re even pining for the less conventional stuff, like plane food, sandy pants and killing time in an airport.
When it comes to the pre-holiday occasion, 15% of us have unexpectedly missed airplane meals, 14% miss middle-of-the-night wake up calls to catch an early flight and 20% of us have revealed a keenness to kill time in an airport before the flight takes off.
We’re even pining for sandy bags/clothes after leaving the beach (12%) and trying to overcome communication barriers with locals (10%).
Attitudes Towards Health & Safety Measures and Vaccine Passports
The research also highlighted a strong willingness to maintain health and safety measures if it means the freedom to travel without limitation. And, attitudes towards potential COVID vaccine passports.
67% of UK travellers are willing to accept only being able to travel if they could prove they have been vaccinated. Meanwhile 73% would accept having to wear a face mask when travelling, with 69% going as far as supporting a ‘no mask no travel’ ban (unless exempt). Almost two thirds (64%) would also be willing to only travel in small groups of 2-6 people.
A Joint Effort for a Common Goal
To help travellers safely rediscover the destinations they long for, there appears to be a consensus that governments, travellers, and the wider travel ecosystem need to work together.
Almost two thirds (62%) believe that government financial stimuli are now needed to help travel’s recovery and over half (60%) worry that the industry won’t survive unless it is supported with government grants. In terms of more practical regulations, 74% state that wider access to pre-travel COVID-19 testing is needed, and 74% say that governments should collaborate with travel associations and providers to set more consistent standards.
Arjan Dijk, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Booking.com comments: “Booking.com remains optimistic that at some point in the not-so-distant future, everyone may once again be able to travel and experience the world together. As we start to see a light at the end of the tunnel, we remain committed to supporting everyone on their journey to getting back to travel, as it’s safe to do so, working together with all those in the travel industry to ensure its recovery for a better, brighter future. And with our mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, when the time is right to discover the places, cultures and experiences we’ve all been dreaming of, we will make sure you can find them on Booking.com.”
For further information, contact the Booking.com UK Press Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who are planning to travel in the next 12 months. In total 28,042 respondents across 28 countries and territories were polled (including 1003 from Argentina, 1002 from Australia, 1000 from Brazil, 1001 from Canada, 1000 from China, 1002 from Colombia, 1001 from Croatia, 1003 from Denmark, 1002 from France, 1005 from Germany, 1004 from Hong Kong, 1000 from India, 1002 from Israel, 1000 from Italy, 1000 from Japan, 1002 from Mexico, 1000 from Netherlands, 1000 from New Zealand, 1003 from Russia, 1000 from Singapore, 1003 from South Korea, 1005 from Spain, 1001 from Sweden, 1000 from Taiwan, 1003 from Thailand, 1000 from UK, 1000 from USA and 1000 from Vietnam). Respondents completed an online survey in January 2021.
**Research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of Booking.com accommodation partners. In total 3,491 respondents across 20 countries and territories were polled (including 86 in Australia, 85 in Austria, 177 in Brazil, 12 in China, 212 in Croatia, 395 in France, 296 in Germany, 136 in Greece, 109 in India, 69 in Indonesia, 492 in Italy, 79 in Japan, 55 in Mexico, 120 in Poland, 96 in Portugal, 197 in Russia, 353 in Spain, 65 in Thailand, 218 in UK and 241 in US). Respondents completed an online survey in February 2021.
Part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), Booking.com’s mission is to make it easier for everyone to experience the world. By investing in the technology that helps take the friction out of travel, Booking.com seamlessly connects millions of travellers with memorable experiences, a range of transportation options and incredible places to stay - from homes to hotels and much more. As one of the world’s largest travel marketplaces for both established brands and entrepreneurs of all sizes, Booking.com enables properties all over the world to reach a global audience and grow their businesses. Booking.com is available in 44 languages and offers more than 28 million total reported accommodation listings, including more than 6.4 million listings of homes, apartments and other unique places to stay. No matter where you want to go or what you want to do, Booking.com makes it easy and backs it all up with 24/7 customer support.