New Booking.com research has revealed the trends that will help shape travel into the new normal.
Chief among the data, which was collected from 20,000 travellers across 28 countries including 995 from Australia, is the need for greater value, with two in three (63%) Aussie participants saying they would be more price conscious when booking a trip in the future. More than half (53%) would also be more likely to seek out discounts.
Beyond price tags, three quarters (74%) said they would demand greater transparency around cancellation policies, refund processes and trip insurance options from those selling travel.
More than half (51%) would require refundable accommodation from their next trip, while two in five (38%) would look for greater flexibility in making free changes.
Elsewhere, bleisure trips (i.e. travel that combines business and leisure) will become more sought after, with more than a third (34%) of the Australians in the study already looking for somewhere to stay in order to work in a different location.
Further to this, nearly half (43%) said they would be willing to quarantine if they could work remotely, while half (50%) would look to extend a business trip to enjoy a destination.
Meanwhile, three quarters (74%) of the polled Aussies said they take more precautions to stay safe while travelling, with two thirds (65%) willing to avoid certain destinations and the same number (65%) only willing to accept accommodation when it’s clear what health policies are in place.
Most (62%) would accept destinations that have health checks on arrival, but only a quarter (27%) would agree to mandatory quarantining.
Elsewhere, six in ten Australian travellers agreed that technology would play a vital role in curbing health risks while travelling. Most in demand will be technology around hotel safety (61%), self-service ticketing (48%), restaurant reservations (46%), and VR technology (29%) for scouting out destinations.
Nearly half (41%) of the Australians surveyed said they would be looking to travel more sustainably in the future, with two thirds (62%) expecting the travel industry to offer more sustainable options, which would see a growing number of travellers visit alternative destinations in a bid to avoid peak seasons (52%) and overcrowding (50%).
Key to this for travel companies would be the delivery of off-season travel packages (47%) for their clients.
“For Australia, like many countries in the pacific, the impact the pandemic has had on travel has been keenly felt,” Booking.com Australia Area Manager Luke Wilson remarked.
“While the future of international travel remains uncertain, the ability to explore our own backyard continues to bring moments of joy and inspiration, whether through dreaming and planning, or cherishing the trips we have been able to take.”
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