Things don’t look too good right now, but there is an end in sight with increased vaccine distribution. And that means new travel opportunities so people can start exploring the world again. We expect travel to come back even stronger post-Covid, which is why we’ve listed ten reasons to feel positive about the travel industry.
1) Pent-up demand
Right now, millions of people are stuck at home dreaming about days on the beach with a refreshing drink in hand. It’s likely that being cooped up inside will only grow the desire to go globetrotting again, which means we can expect a surge of booked holidays as soon as we’re given the green light.
Research reveals a society who want to fulfil their travel desires. Peter J. Bates, president and founder of Strategic Vision, a global marketing company, says, “Our research shows this pent-up demand is generating keen interest in safaris, European vacations and far-flung destinations—if not in the immediate term, then in the near future”. Once we’re allowed, expect to see a plethora of new travel bookings.
2) Flexible travel options
With so many difficulties surrounding cancellations and refunds, expect to see an increase in flexible booking options. This will reassure consumers as they book their next holiday without fear of last-minute cancellations and lost money.
And it’s not only the booking element of travel that will offer flexibility. By providing holidaymakers with the option of flexible checkouts and the opportunity to spread their payments, you can give consumers even more confidence when it comes to booking their next trip away.
3) Tech-led travel
We use our phones for just about every aspect of our lives, from watching Netflix to ordering food. And guess what? We’re booking more holidays on our mobiles too! Fifty-seven per cent of flights booked through major travel operators were done via mobile between March and December 2020, and travel brands are paying attention.
Some travel companies are even adapting their methods, moving to full-on tech setups. At Fly Now Pay Later, we’re very much on board with tech-led travel and allow our users to finance their holidays using our app. Expect to see an increase in tech dependency to provide holidaymakers with more transparent and convenient travel options.
4) Improved loyalty programs
There’s nothing more exciting for frequent travellers than accumulating loyalty points with travel brands. New initiatives to get people gaining points even without travelling have come to the fore, like everyday spending counting towards higher tiers (the good tiers) and the redeeming of travel points after non-travel purchase.
Such initiatives will increase the hunger for travel and provide fairer options for travellers. In return, expect to see an increase in the numbers of people booking holidays after being encouraged by smarter travel perks.
5) A focus on UK holidays
Expect people to stick with staycations at first, as close-to-home getaways become increasingly sought-after. For travel brands previously focused on international holidays, UK vacations provide the opportunity to offer a varied approach to your travel itinerary.
Whether that’s partnering with local tour operators to offer package trips or striking up deals with domestic hotels, the UK holiday has a vital role to play in your travel sales. And for brands already offering domestic getaways, you can expect this year to be the one where the staycation cements its place as a long-term travel trend.
6) Longer holiday trends
While social distancing remains, travellers will be keen to get away on holiday for longer. The idea of going through all those restrictions and measures for a three-day break isn’t quite as appealing as heading somewhere for 10 days to two weeks.
When travel does resume, it will involve longer, more expensive trips. As long as travel brands cater to the demand for longer stays by offering flexible payment options, you can expect to see holidaymakers spending more to get away for longer.
7) Increased service
We’ve all had to get used to ordering from menus with a QR code, as well as other measures that reduce contact during Covid. Therefore, it’s likely that service providers will go out of their way to offer guests tailor-made experiences to help make travellers think Covid was nothing but a distant memory.
More travel options – the type that was once reserved for high-end holidays – will likely lead to a surge in bookings, as those looking for a getaway are tempted by services offering a level of personalisation they weren’t previously used to.
8) Better flying experiences
Airports and planes will take on new hygienic measures to offer better flying experiences for passengers. And anything that takes the more mundane aspects of travel up a notch is likely to benefit the industry as a whole.
This new world of hygiene and cleanliness will include hotels, too, making their guests feel comfortable and safe. The overall result is improved experiences that will make travelling more enjoyable for everyone involved.
9) Diverse markets
Travel brands who once relied on specific demographics will look to diversify their offers and appeal to a broader range of travellers. From an increased focus on domestic travel to offering tailored options for varied travel groups, Covid is an opportunity to expand.
For example, if your customers are mostly younger travellers, why not look at seeing how you can appeal to older demographics – and vice versa. It’s not just about flexible payments and booking; use this opportunity to offer a variety to your target audiences.
10) A greater need for travel agents
Having options for how we book travel are great, and an element of autonomy gives travellers more freedom to craft their holiday experiences. But in a world with restrictions that vary from one company to another, the need for an expert is essential.
Travel agents have a significant part to play post-Covid, acting to provide finite details and allay any fears about travel destinations. The role of the travel agent could be more important than ever post-covid.
Making travel great again
It’s been a tough year-or-so, but the end of the tunnel is in sight, and we can come out the other side with better travel experiences. And that can only be good news for everyone involved in the travel industry, from businesses to consumers.
Fly Now Pay Later is preparing for a better travel climate once we’re all holidaying again with the launch of Anywhere for Business, a small travel brand solution to help providers offer flexible financial options for their customers.