Published June 22nd 2020
Unsurprisingly, the tourism sector has taken one of the biggest hits among businesses globally, but as restrictions begin to lift and summer sweeps across Europe, companies must now plan for recovery in a new context.
Will holidaymakers be as eager as ever to pack a suitcase and jet off abroad? How will they choose to recover from the stresses of lockdown life? And what will consumers expect from travel companies now?
To explore travel preferences across the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, we used Brandwatch Qriously to survey 5,000 people via their smartphones and tablets. We asked them how the pandemic has affected their holiday intentions for post-lockdown.
The insights are part of a broader study into behavioural change across Europe over the past few months. You can explore the full reports on consumer lifestyle and attitudinal shifts for each country we studied here:
So let’s dive in.
Across Europe people have faced a whole range of personal challenges during lockdown, not least the worries about their own health and the wellbeing of loved ones.
Lockdown has affected the lives of our respondents in many ways, with a lack of personal freedom, postponement or cancellation of plans, and mental health issues cited as the top disruptors – especially in the UK.
But as travel restrictions ease, is it presumptuous to expect an immediate surge in demand for holidays? Do people still want to travel, or has the perceived risk to health put them off?
Given that the world will most likely have to learn to live with the ongoing presence of Covid-19 (at least in the short- to medium-term), it’s worth pointing out that our use of the phrase “after the pandemic” in this question may have been prematurely optimistic.
However, the division of opinion on whether people intend to change the way they travel going forwards does provide some encouragement for the tourism sector.
Lots of people still want to travel.
The question is where and how they’ll choose to do it, and in what ways businesses should adapt to alleviate consumers’ safety concerns to rebuild customer trust and loyalty.
Travel businesses designing marketing campaigns will need to understand the impact of Covid-19 on public trust and buyer intent. Unfortunately the whole industry is the victim of a customer trust crisis through no fault of its own.
Which groups of people are going to be receptive to destination marketing messages now? Which products will need the marketing dialled up or down?
To help gauge what kind of travel people will prioritise next, we asked consumers what style of holiday they’d prefer.
It is clear that, as expected, the travel and tourism industry is facing an uphill struggle. In a separate Brandwatch Qriously survey of consumers in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, and the US, just 21% of respondents said they feel safe going to a hotel, and only 15% said the same about getting on a plane.
Consumer reactions differ depending on age, gender, and geography, indicating varying perceptions of risk associated with Covid-19, travel, and holidays.
To be able to adapt your business operations, products, and marketing in line with consumers’ priorities, concerns, and needs, it’s vital you have the means to take a regular and accurate pulse-check on consumer preferences.
An easy-to-use, fast digital survey tool like Brandwatch Qriously gives businesses the candid, voluntary feedback they need to stay agile and desirable in an ever-changing global context.
Watch this short video to see how Brandwatch Qriously can bring valuable insights into your business decisions:
Get the full UK Qriously Report to discover how the pandemic has changed consumers’ attitudes toward food and drink, shopping, exercise, and more.