The online travel agent has released insights into consumer opinions of international travel in a post-Covid-19 world, writes Shauna McCrudden
I, for one, am looking forward to getting back to travelling abroad again. Getting to explore different worlds and immerse myself in other cultures sounds like a dream come true right now. And as they say, absence really does make the heart grow fonder which the rest of Ireland appears to feel too, as consumers seem to be eager for international travel to resume.
This was revealed in Click&Go’s Travel Attitude Survey, providing valuable information on the top travel trends and destinations for Irish consumers since the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic. The survey examined responses from over 5,700 Click&Go customers between the ages of 18 and 65.
But while they want to travel internationally, they are concerned by the lack of clarity and communication from the Government on current travel restrictions and guidelines. When asked when they thought holiday travel would return to normal, 36.2% of those asked responded spring 2021, 30.7% voted summer 2021, and 18.8% voted September/October 2020. In spite of this, many people are keen to travel as soon as possible, with over 61% stating that they would start planning their next holiday as soon as travel restrictions were lifted.
Most consumers are satisfied that airports are taking the necessary safety measures to protect travellers, with 70% voting ‘yes’ when asked this question. Similarly, over 60% of customers believed that airlines are doing enough to protect their passengers.
Hygiene and health and safety measures are important to prospective holidaymakers, as almost all of the respondents to the survey stated that they would feel safer/more comfortable in hotels, restaurants and bars that are adopting clean and safe policies.
When booking their next holiday, over 70% of customers cited clear policies around cancellations and refunds and clear guidance from the Government regarding travel advice as two major factors that would make them feel considerably safer.
Paul Hackett, CEO of Click&Go, says, “From these figures, it is evident that customers want clear guidance on cancellation policies and Government travel advice. Essentially, the current travel restrictions in place from the Department of Foreign Affairs are preventing people who want to go on holidays from travelling abroad, and there is a distinct lack of clarity on this issue.
“This delay easing travel restrictions will further impact the travel industry, as Irish customers will be forced to wait to book their holidays, which will drastically slow the recovery of the Irish travel sector. Additionally, the EU Commission, on 11th June called on all 27 EU member states to re-open borders and ease travel restrictions in a safe and coordinated manner.
“Ireland is not complying, and that is impacting the inbound tourism industry, the aviation sector and outbound travel, combined they account for over 250,000 jobs in Ireland.”
So let’s hope we get clearer guidance soon. For the sake of the inbound tourism industry and our own peace of mind for when we get to book our international trips again.
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