How travel brands engage with their customers in the coming weeks and months is key in building confidence.
A new report highlights the issue and says messaging is key with many consumers still not fully ready to travel again.
The Ready for Take Off report, from Apptopia, Braze and Skyscanner, reveals that only 19% feel comfortable traveling now and 22% won’t feel confident until most people are vaccinated.
A further fifth say they won’t be comfortable until some time after most people are vaccinated and 16% say they’ll travel once they are fully vaccinated.
The report also shows that most, 59%, feel safe traveling in their own country but this dips to 32% for feeling it’s safe to travel to other countries.
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In terms of messaging and information, consumers want high levels of engagement from travel brands with 34% of global travelers saying they’d consider booking with another company if they don’t get the communications they expect.
According to the report the channel of delivery of messaging is also important with 43% wanting to receive updates on email while about a fifth would prefer a call and 16% prefer texts and direct messages.
When it comes to information they expect to receive from companies, 63% want to see COVID regulations on the location they are visiting, 59% expect communication around the company’s own COVID policies and 52% expect communication about the status of the virus at the destination.
The study also highlights current online travel agency mobile app usage across the world.
In Asia Pacific, there is a 24% decrease in OTA app usage compared to before the pandemic and travelers are purchasing almost 20% fewer trips than in January 2020.
Usage of OTA apps in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region is down 36% but travelers are buying 43% more trips than in April 2020.
OTA app usage in the U.S. has increased 41% compared to pre-COVID levels and travelers are making 71% more purchases compared with April 2020 levels.
Further trends from the report reveal cost is still an important factor but not at the expense of safety as well as a lack of consensus around vaccination passports.
The survey information in the report was conducted by Wakefield Research in April among 9,500 participants across 13 markets.
The full report can be downloaded here.