A new study by Amadeus has revealed the strong desire Australians still have for leisure travel – and the pivotal roles agents play in making travel happen.
When asked about how and where agents could best assist travellers in their travel experience, three in ten (27%) Australian and New Zealand respondents said they expected more recommendations than before COVID-19.
Four in ten (39%) travellers also said they expected contact with agents prior to booking and at all phases of their trip, with one in four (25%) planning to use professionals for flexibility or to make changes.
North Shore Business Travel manager Shayne Howell said “many customers have realised that value of a travel agent, to assist with their personal travel needs and improve the overall travel experience”.
“For the upcoming festive season, we are helping customers design and plan domestic trips and providing recommendations on how they can make the most of their holiday at home,” he remarked.
In interviews with travel agency executives across Australia and New Zealand, four in ten (37%) respondents said they believed the way they will sell will change in 2021/22, with most (78%) anticipating leisure travel demand from international students, repatriation flights and school holiday packages.
Interestingly, a minority (28%) think that health will impact bookings and travel, but almost the same number (22%) believes that transportation capacity will.
“We’ve accelerated our digital transformation strategy to empower our staff to work remotely and respond quickly to customer queries and requests for information around COVID-19,” Royal Automobile Association (RAA) of South Australia general manager Gina Norman stated, before the current wave of new coronavirus infections in SA.
“As travellers navigate state restrictions, quarantine policies and health and safety measures this holiday season, we are looking at ways to help them feel less concerned and move forward with their leisure travel plans.”
In Amadeus’ Destination X: Where to Next survey of over 350 CheckMyTrip users, the majority (76.4%) of ANZ respondents said that they had a strong desire to travel domestically when restrictions lifted, with most (68.4%) seeking at least 1-3 trips over the next year.
Two-thirds (67%) of travellers said that visiting family and friends is the main reason to plan and book travel in the coming months, while over a third (38%) are booking travel to “break out of confinement”.
But with nearly a third (31%) of those polled saying they are ‘less than comfortable with flying but will continue to do so’, travel sellers will need to prioritise convincing holidaymakers that travelling by air is safe.
According to the survey, more than two thirds (67%) of travellers said it was ‘very important’ to understand how airlines and airports are tackling COVID-19.
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