The travel industry stands together in getting back to travel
Booking.com has released its latest research spanning more than 3,000 accommodation partners in 20 countries to reveal key steps needed to kick start travel industry recovery
After one of the toughest years yet, the travel industry is finally starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel as demand slowly begins to return, with travelers gradually being able to start preparing for their next adventure. Leading digital travel platform Booking.com has released key findings from its research conducted amongst over 3,000 accommodation partners in 20 countries, to uncover what support is needed to help the travel industry get back on its feet, as well as what preparations properties across the world have been making to ensure they are ready to welcome back travelers, once it is safe again to do so.
Key Considerations for the Return of Travel
At this pivotal moment for the industry and thinking about the role that COVID-19 vaccines may have for travel possibilities during 2021, 71%* of accommodation partners are feeling cautiously optimistic about the future of their business. Yet, they are united in agreeing that more measures are still needed in order to help speed up the recovery, as 77%* accommodation partners have stated that there is a need for more consistent international standards when it comes to travel advice and rules. Meanwhile, 70%* believe there needs to be wider access to pre-travel COVID-19 testing, which is notable as many believe testing will continue to be a requisite part of the travel experience going forward. In fact, ensuring travelers’ safety and confidence is front of mind for accommodation partners as over half (52%*) said that introducing COVID-19 negative testing as a requirement in order to travel will help accelerate the industry’s recovery.
Whilst the majority of accommodation providers (74%*) believe that governments need to do more in the future to support the travel industry during the ongoing crisis, there is a sense of optimism, as 45%* are feeling positive due to the prospect of financial stimuli for the travel industry. Partners are also feeling encouraged by the recent advancements of COVID-19 vaccinations as two thirds (62%*) of partners believe they will see an increase in interest for travel in 2021, once the vaccines have been more widely rolled out. This sense of optimism is also reflected in Booking.com’s recent consumer traveler research whereby two thirds (66%**) feel more hopeful about traveling in 2021 thanks to news of successful COVID-19 vaccines.
Accommodation partners have also shared guidance for governments on what actions they would like to see them take, in order to help speed up the recovery of the travel industry. This includes governments to suspend goods and services tax (GST) for all travel and tourism services (65%*), government financial stimulus/subsidies (64%*) and establishing international travel corridors (58%*).
But it isn’t just the governments that accommodation partners are relying on to get travel up and running again, as they are looking to marketing tools to help entice consumers to travel. With two thirds (66%*) agreeing that the industry will have to develop smart marketing strategies to woo travelers back.
Booking.com is keen to play its part in the recovery process and has constantly been looking at ways to innovate to enhance the customer experience and make it easier for customers to find what they are looking for and deliver business back to its partners. From an updated search experience with tailored options for travelers to incentives to encourage customers to complete a booking, Booking.com pledges to continue to evolve its support, including through digital demand generation, as a part of its wider commitment in rebuilding travel together.
Buoyed by the optimism that can be felt across the industry, the majority of accommodation partners have already been making careful considerations on how they can optimize their properties to attract old and new customers. Vital steps to prepare for the return to travel include 91%* making improvements to their properties, whilst over a third of accommodation owners have used the unplanned travel hiatus to give aesthetics a refresh. Meanwhile, 34%* have updated their accommodations’ online presence or have taken new photos and 33%* have renovated rooms themselves to give them a refreshed look.
“As we look forward to a brighter future with returning back to travel, we have a responsibility to shine a light on the needs of the travel industry. We stand with our accommodation partners who have shared what is needed in order to help speed up the industry’s recovery. The sentiment shared by our partners is corroborated by Singapore travellers as well, with 96% saying they believe the travel industry needs to be supported to get back on its feet. Booking.com will continue to play its role in rebuilding travel together, helping more and more travellers to rediscover the world and all it has to offer, once it is safe again,” said Nuno Guerreiro, Booking.com Regional Director South Asia Pacific.
*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.**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.
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 travelers 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.