How the pandemic is introducing a new era of ‘safety first’ travellers
86% Indian travellers to take more health and safety related precautions when traveling in the future, based on global research commissioned by Booking.com
COVID-19 has affected nearly every aspect of our lives, including travel. As travellers start to rediscover the world again, it's not surprising that 86% Indian travellers are planning to take more health and safety related precautions when traveling in the future and 71% Indians opting to avoid certain destinations altogether due to safety concerns as per a Booking.com report. When compared with the global travel trend for avoiding destinations due to safety concerns, India ranked second globally, after Thailand.
Road trip ready
With a shift in destination preferences, transportation preferences have also changed. 68% of Indians are likely to give public transportation a miss to avoid travelling with a large number of people due to the fear of contracting COVID-19. This is higher than the global average of 46%. Instead, travellers will choose to rent or drive their own car to and around their destination – making 2021 the year of the road trip.
The ‘new normal’ will also see travellers prioritize and adhere to increased health and safety measures, as 78% Indians are happy to travel to destinations where health spot checks on arrival are standard and 81% Indians don’t mind travelling to a destination where it's mandatory to wear a face mask in public. Unsurprisingly, travellers will look to the travel industry for reassurance with 75% Indians expecting travel providers to clearly outline the safety precautions they’re taking and 48% agreeing that a clear display of cleaning and hygiene policies is now a must have.
Precautions on top of mind
Keeping safety while travelling a priority, 77% of Indian travellers will only book a particular accommodation if it’s clear what health and hygiene policies it has in place, with 79% favoring accommodations that have antibacterial and sanitizing products. The ‘new normal’ will also see travellers prioritize and adhere to increased health and safety measures. Quarantine measures will remain less popular with only 51% of Indian travellers willing to accept these in order to travel to a particular destination.
Additionally, Booking.com has introduced its Minimal Cleanliness Score Commitment to support unique accommodation partners as they commit and work to improve and maintain their cleanliness score, as determined by verified guest reviews from travellers who have booked and stayed at the property. Based on ongoing guest feedback, only properties which live up to this cleanliness quality over time will remain available for guests to book, ensuring peace of mind for travellers looking to travel safely
Commenting on the findings of the research, Ritu Mehrotra, Country Manager, India, Sri Lanka and Maldives at Booking.com said, “Health and safety are top priority for travellers wanting to travel once again. Travellers are looking forward to new health and safety measures to avoid COVID-19. In response to a rise in demand from travellers, Booking.com now enables properties to be able to easily display safety measures such as hygiene, sanitisation, social distancing on their property listings, so travellers can have peace of mind when booking their next trip. With over 14 million listings on Booking.com now having implemented health and safety measures globally, including over 700,000 listings in India, we are making it easier for everyone to experience the world, in a way that fits their needs.”
To delve deeper into Booking.com’s predictions for the Future of Travel, including Safety Cleans Up, visit https://www.booking.com/articles/safety-cleans-up.html
Research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who have travelled for business or leisure in the past 12 months, and must be planning to travel in the next 12 months (if/once travel restrictions are lifted). In total 20,934 respondents across 28 countries and territories were polled (including from 999 USA, 496 from Canada, 497 from Mexico, 997 from Colombia, 999 from Brazil, 499 from Argentina, 995 from Australia, 499 from New Zealand, 999 from Spain, 996 from Italy, 996 from France, 999 from UK, 996 from Germany, 498 from Netherlands, 499 from Denmark, 499 from Sweden, 498 from Croatia, 1001 from Russia, 498 from Israel, 997 from India, 994 from China, 499 from Hong Kong, 497 from Thailand, 496 from Singapore, 499 from Taiwan, 997 from South Korea, 500 from Vietnam and 995 from Japan). Respondents completed an online survey in July 2020.