The majority of UK consumers (62%) feel confident to travel again, with 30% having already booked a holiday in 2022 and another 32% planning to do so, according to a survey of 2000 UK consumers commissioned by Fresh Relevance and conducted by London-based market research consultancy Censuswide to determine the level of confidence in post-pandemic travel and how attitudes and behaviour towards booking travel has changed.
In addition to confidence to travel returning, one in four consumers (25%) are willing to spend more money on travel than they would before the pandemic. This is particularly evident amongst Generation Z, with 49% stating a willingness to spend more money.
The new survey not only offers welcome news for the travel industry, but also provides valuable insights to help them capitalise on the resurgence in consumer confidence, particularly in relation to changing behaviours to bookings. The survey found that consumers visit an average of seven websites before making a booking, and almost half of those polled (41%) said they consider the booking experience to be more important now compared to pre-pandemic. In fact, one in three (34%) are spending more time on the booking process.
Fresh Relevance CEO and Co-Founder Mike Austin, offers the following recommendations based on the findings of the report:
“Travel companies need to review and optimise the booking experience to match higher expectations. This could include displaying personalised recommendations to make it easy for customers to find the holidays they are looking for, and providing returning customers with loyalty-based incentives.”
Austin also points to the increasing willingness to spend more on travel, as a major opportunity:
“Tempt customers with options to upgrade accommodation, more premium hire car, or the possibility to extend their holiday by a night or two.” He adds: “Many consumers are also looking to try new experiences, so recommending destinations that are trending with other travellers and displaying user-generated content such as customer photos is a great way to help them to make a decision.”
However, it is not all good news, with 20% of consumers having lost trust in travel companies due to a bad experience during the pandemic. Austin adds: “The travel industry has work to do to rebuild trust that was lost as a result of the pandemic. The survey suggested that simple steps such as making websites and mobile apps easier to navigate can have a positive impact on conversions. Instilling confidence in the booking experience is an important aspect, but so too is providing clear flexible cancellation policies.”