DONALD WOOD | TravelPulse.Com
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A new report about how travelers view the industry one year after the COVID-19 pandemic started found that consumers are looking forward to traveling againand already planning for future trips.
The most telling finding from the American Express Travel: Global Travel Trends Report was that 87 percent of respondents said having a trip planned in the future makes them happy despite the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
The data also suggests 76 percent of surveyed travelers are creating a destination wish list for future travel even though they might not be able to travel yet. Another 63 percent said they are saving credit card points to spend on a vacation when they’re ready to hit the road again.
While 56 of respondents said they miss traveling so much they are willing to book a trip now despite the risk of cancellation, another 65 percent said they would not hit the road until their families have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Our latest global trends report shows that there is a clear pent-up demand for travel, among consumers, with many people longing for and beginning to plan future trips,” American Express Travel President Audrey Hendley said.
“In addition, the pandemic environment is giving rise to emerging trends, such as the increasing the appeal of working from anywhere while traveling globally, luxury being defined as more personalized experiences, cleanliness and privacy as the ultimate luxury amenities, as well as a growing interest in the environmental and social purpose of their trips and travel companies,” Hendley continued.
Regardless of when people travel again, 61 percent said they plan to spend more than they normally would on a trip this year since they could not travel in 2020. Another 78 percent want to travel in 2021 to relieve the stresses from the previous 12 months of uncertainty.
The study found there is still a market for luxury travel, but the perception has changed, as 82 percent of respondents view personalized experiences as the most desirable amenities, followed by high cleanliness standards (81 percent) and privacy (79 percent).
Travelers are also looking to take advantage of ‘Second-City’ destinations, as 69 percent of respondents are interested in visiting lesser-known areas.