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Apptopia, Braze, and Skyscanner release trends and predictions for Travel and Hospitality Industry

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Global consumers are getting ready to travel again, but remain cautious about vaccinations and health and safety measures.

NEW YORK - Braze, a comprehensive customer engagement platform, revealed findings from its newest data report, Ready for Takeoff: 2021 Travel Industry Trends, Insights, and Strategies. The research includes findings from a survey of 9,500 consumers across 13 global markets conducted by Wakefield Research, which explored COVID-19’s impact on consumer behaviour, expectations, and sentiment around travel. In combination with proprietary data from Apptopia, Braze, and Skyscanner, the report provides guidance for how brands can successfully meet the challenges and opportunities that come next. 

“With strong signs of a rebound, travel and hospitality brands must prioritize customer engagement in order to connect with new and old customers alike,” said Myles Kleeger, President and Chief Customer Officer of Braze. “The report proves that the right context combined with the right customer engagement strategies not only delivers relevant experiences, but also drives business growth for an industry set for a comeback.” 

Key findings from the report include: 
Cost Continues to Be a Top Factor, but Health and Safety Measures Can Be a Deal Breaker While the COVID-19 pandemic impacted many normal behaviours for consumers, one thing remains the same - travellers still want a good deal. We see this attitude reflected in how consumers describe themselves: 60% of today’s travellers are “budget-minded,” while only 40% are “luxury-minded.” However, the only factor more important than cost is safety. The survey showed that, when asked to rank the most important factors in choosing a travel company, 31% of consumers put health and safety first, with those putting cost first slightly behind at 29%.

Travel Companies Will Have to Tread Lightly When it Comes to Vaccinations 
Vaccinations are set to have a significant impact on the travel and hospitality industry as consumers begin to feel more safe to travel. According to the survey, 42% of global travellers say they expect to carry proof of vaccination as a precaution, while 57% say they are more likely to use a travel company that requires travellers to share their vaccination status. While 81% of global travellers plan to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the response to vaccination requirements is much more nuanced. 21% of consumers state they are unwilling to share their status with a travel company, with U.S. travellers being the most unwilling (28%), followed by EMEA (23%), and APAC (16%).

“It is highly likely that proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test will be required by governments for anyone wanting to travel internationally for some time to come,” said Hugh Aitken, VP of Flights at Skyscanner. “Clear, consistent, and transparent communication about these new types of entry requirements will be essential for travel providers in order to provide a positive end-to-end experience for their customers.”

Top Booked Destinations Vary by Region 
While COVID-19 is a global pandemic, its impact on travellers vary greatly by region (and even country) due to local government responses, resources, and culture. This is apparent in Skyscanner data showcasing the top destinations booked by travellers in APAC, EMEA and the United States. 

  • APAC: The top booked destinations for APAC travellers are oriented to domestic, in-country travel owing to strict border restrictions for international leisure travel. The top three countries seeing the most domestic travel in APAC are South Korea, Australia, and Japan.*
  • EMEA: Due to restrictions on international travel, travellers are primarily interested in intra-European beach and island destinations. The U.S. features high on the list, most likely due to hopes that borders will open later in the year for leisure travel due to the country’s high vaccination rates. The top three destinations in EMEA include Spain, the U.S., and Turkey.* 
  • United States: As the world’s most travel-ready region according to our consumer survey, U.S. consumers were still focused on the following domestic travel and close-by international locations. The top three travel destinations in the U.S. are Las Vegas, Orlando, and Los Angeles.* 

*Based on bookings in April for travel until the end of the year for return, economy fares.

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