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Adapting to the New Breed of Traveler Against the Backdrop of COVID-19

As the world continues to return to normalcy after the devastation caused by the pandemic, people have slowly started to ready themselves to live with COVID-19. Amongst everything else that is now gradually getting back on track, the travel industry is one sector that has shown remarkable potential.


With an increasingly high number of vaccination rates across the world, border and quarantine restrictions have also started easing up. Even though COVID-19 hasn’t been entirely eliminated, people are ready to travel. However, travelers today are nothing like pre-pandemic travelers.


The latest research report prepared by Google and Kantar on APAC’s four biggest travel markets i.e.India, Indonesia, Japan, and Australia offers various valuable insights on what travelers today want.


Here are some of the major findings from the report.


1. Higher Intent to Travel Internationally

The report reveals that there is a 3X jump in intent to travel internationally amongst the travelers now. 61% of travelers prefer to travel to international locations for their future leisure vacations.



2. Number of Trips to Reduce

The report also highlights that travelers are 2X more likely to travel less frequently. The complex nature of traveling during a pandemic necessitates devoting more time to research and planning so that they can derive maximum value out of their vacations.



Also, the report says that the average booking time across the four markets went up by 17%. This means that travelers spent an average of 56 days planning their international trip, which is 30% more than the time they take to plan a domestic trip. With so much research and planning required before each trip, it is understandable that the number of trips would decline.



3. Travelers Are Likely to Spend Much More and Travel Longer

The effort that goes into planning international leisure trips means that the current breed of travelers will also spend more time enjoying those trips, which means their travels are going to be longer and more oriented towards milestone events.


The research also points out that travelers are twice as likely to go on fewer trips than before. Moreover, they are 3X more likely to cover only one or two countries at a time.



It means that when they travel, they’ll get more time to do, see, and spend too. While 25% of the travelers said that they would travel for more than two weeks, 87% of the travelers said that they would like to go on international trips that last five days or longer than that. This is a significant hike from 2019 when tourist stays during international trips averaged 3-4 days.



4. More Focus on Entertainment

The report also says that travelers these days have a strong preference for luxury and convenience and they are ready to spend more on pampering themselves. This can be ascertained from the fact the number of clicks for accommodations worth more than $300 per night has seen a growth.


Moreover, while 78% of travelers say that they would be interested in luxury stays and experiences, 77% showed their interest in package holidays tours. Also, these days travelers are particular about spending their time meaningfully when they have to quarantine as part of their international vacation.



The research reveals that travelers were twice as likely to opt for entertainment-related amenities in their quarantine accommodation, including fitness equipment and streaming services. Also, they showed a greater inclination towards bigger rooms, upgraded meals, and balcony views.


Bottom Line

The shift in travel trends from “when” to “how” has made it important for brands to adapt themselves according to the needs, preferences, and expectations of the post-pandemic traveler. They need to go the extra mile to find ways to excite these travelers to go on trips. Brands need to focus on engaging travelers throughout their path to purchase i.e., from research and discovery to bookings and activities. Therefore, for everyone associated with the hospitality sector i.e., hotel, lifestyle, and entertainment brands, this new breed of travelers presents an opportunity to get more creative and offer services that will appeal to them.


To delve deeper into the findings of the report, click here.