Several things have to happen before the travel industry can get back to normal. First off, travelers have to want to travel again. Fortunately all evidence points to that being the case. But then they also have to feel safe traveling and be confident in their job and finances to spend money on travel. And of course, travel restrictions have to be lifted, so that they can actually get on a plane and fo somewhere. There’s a lot going on but what it really comes down to is how travelers really feel, as travel has always been a leap of faith… now more than ever.
Fortunately Deloitte has a created a bi-weekly tracker of consumer habits across fifteen countries including major economies in Asia and Australia, along with North American and Europe, as well as Chile, to try to gauge how consumers sentiment. And perhaps most importantly for the travel sector, they have good in depth insight into the four largest outbound travel markets, China, Germany, the US and the UK.
Economies are intrinsically tied to confidence and so while the Pandemic rages, it is hard for consumers to feel secure in spending money. Many are afraid of losing their job or catching the virus. So in general it is not a surprise to see the most anxious consumers are in places where COVID-19 is not well under control. As an exception to this, the US keeps seeing record daily COVID cases and yet consumers are less anxious than two weeks ago.
The most recent survey shows that spending is slowly returning but health anxieties still weigh heavily on economies. As do economic ones and so while most consumers expect to spend more on essentials, discretionary spending will drop.
China’s Travel Outlook
The Chinese and Brits seem the most willing to get on an international flight at this time, while the Germans lag every other country when it comes to currently actively searching for travel deals. And respondents from all countries feel the safest aspect of travel right now would be staying in hotels, with more than one third expressing confidence. It’s also no surprise that taking a cruise ranked the low for all travelers.
Ultimately science and safety will drive a return to travel as that’s what’s going to bring the Pandemic under control. After that a growing economy and the lifting of travel restrictions will be necessary drivers as well. But ultimately, travel will rebound mainly based on how travelers really feel. We have evidence that they want to travel, now the industry just has to convince them that its safe and affordable to travel.