Vaccination confidence to save sector?

Tripadvisor research reveals rising global travel confidence among vaccinated populations

A new travel trends research paper released by Tripadvisor®, reveals that vaccine rollouts globally are driving increasing demand for winter vacations, with vaccinated travellers more likely to stay longer and spend more on their trips than unvaccinated travellers. the vaccine plan to do so.

Christopher Hsi, head of market research, Tripadvisor said: “After such a turbulent year, many in tourism are hopeful that a busy winter will provide a much-needed boost to the tourism industry, so it’s welcome news to see the latest traveller data pointing in that direction, especially for destinations and hospitality businesses that are able to capture the growing demand for domestic vacations.

“What offers even greater hope for a long-term recovery is the impact the vaccine is having not just on people’s confidence to travel, but also their willingness to turn planning into bookings. As more and more countries make progress on the rollout of the vaccine, and the positive impact that should have on the re-opening of international borders, there is every reason to expect further growth in traveller demand will come.”

The report, entitled A Shot in The Arm for Travel? Examining the Vaccine’s Impact on Leisure Travel Demand, provides an insight into emerging travel planning trends a+-round the world by combining behavioural analysis of Tripadvisor’s first-party search data with consumer sentiment analysis gathered via traveller surveys in six major international markets including Australia, exploring the latest in traveller attitudes and confidence.

The report identifies clear behavioural differences in how vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers are thinking about travel, and how that is translating into travel planning behaviours on the Tripadvisor platform, with vaccinated travellers more likely to be booking vacations already, and to be planning to stay longer and spend more when they travel.

In countries like the U.S. and the UK, where the vaccination rollout has reached large swathes of the adult population, eager travellers are pushing the tourism recovery forward. At the other end of the spectrum, countries where the vaccine rollout is at a less advanced stage and new variants of Covid-19 have impacted local populations (particularly across the Asia-Pacific region) are experiencing a slower recovery in leisure travel demand.

Stephen Kaufer, CEO and co-founder, Tripadvisor, Inc pointed out: “Higher income millennial travellers were driving the demand for leisure travel over the last few months, but heading into the second half of the year, the age demographic of travellers now booking up vacations has broadened significantly, at least in countries where large populations have been vaccinated,”

“If ever we needed proof that vaccines are the key to long-term recovery in the tourism sector, our latest trend data provides it. Now the focus must be on governments and international organisations to ensure vaccines reach every part of the world as quickly as possible and make it as easy as possible for vaccinated tourists to travel globally once again.”

Key findings from the report include:

The vaccine has a significant impact on the demand for accommodation. Countries where the pace of the vaccination rollout is more advanced, like the U.S. and UK, are powering near-term growth in tourism demand, while a more muted recovery picture emerges across the Asia-Pacific region:

  • In Australia, more than three quarters (79 percent) of respondents plan on booking a domestic vacation, and around a quarter (27 percent) plan on taking a vacation abroad this year.
  • Among those yet to be vaccinated in Australia, over a third (36 percent) of those planning a domestic trip are waiting to receive at least one dose of the vaccine before booking.
Domestic tourism is dominating travel planning searches for the next few months, but for trips further out travellers are already actively planning international travel:
  • In the first week of May, APAC travellers planning trips on Tripadvisor were overwhelmingly searching for domestic vacations. However, in the following months we see a steady shift of travellers looking to book more trips abroad.
  • Eighty-five percent (85 percent) of June vacation searches in APAC were for domestic trips, as well as eighty-three percent (83 percent) for trips in July and seventy-nine percent (79percent) looking to book a local getaway in August.
  • Looking ahead to the end of the year, only sixty percent (60 percent) of hotel searches in December are for domestic trips, while international hotel searches make up the rest.
The urban tourism revival is in full swing! City destinations are re-emerging as the trip of choice for travellers:
  • A quarter (25 percent) of respondents in Australia are planning a city vacation in 2021, compared to less than a fifth (19 percent) who chose more socially-distanced options like the beach. In fact, some of the most searched vacation destinations by Australians on Tripadvisor (based on site queries in the first week of May 2021) included major city centers like Auckland, Singapore and London.
On average, vaccinated travellers plan to spend more and vacation longer than other travellers:
  • Globally, twenty-two percent (22 percent) of respondents plan to take a longer trip than they would have done pre-pandemic, rising to nearly a third (30 percent) of vaccinated respondents.
  • During the first week of May, nearly half (46 percent) of all international accommodation searches on Tripadvisor were for stays lasting six days or more.
  • Globally, more than a third (35 percent) of vaccinated travellers surveyed plan to spend more on their next trip compared to what they spent on travel prior to the pandemic, while only a fifth (20 percent) of those yet to receive the vaccine plan to do so.

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