The results of the most recent study carried out by luggage storage solution provider LuggageHero, which surveyed 1,600 respondents from around the world (in the US, the EU and the UK) in May, revealed that traveller sentiments have changed since the same study was carried out in March and April.
For example, the demand for domestic travel has increased. From May through September, at least 71 per cent of respondents say they plan to explore their own country, either for road trips or city breaks, the survey reveals; while 16 per cent are so eager to travel they plan to hit the road within the first 15 days after restrictions are lifted. Overall, in fact, it seems that travel restrictions have inspired an ambition to travel for the majority of respondents as, in comparison, the number of those not willing to travel is very small indeed – only six per cent of those asked said they would not leave their own city until a vaccine is available, and only three per cent said they would wait for the economy to return to normal before leaving their city.
In terms of business travel, only 17 per cent of respondents said they have adapted to the efficiency of the online meetings. And LuggageHero notes that people still value face-to-face interactions, especially when it comes to professional business matters: 55 per cent of respondents believe they will have at least one business trip by the end of 2020.
LuggageHero’s study also considers traveller budgets, and how these have changed as a result of Covid-19. The study identifies that 12 per cent of those surveyed in May said that since the pandemic started, their monthly household income has dropped by more than 50 per cent. This is, however, a more optimistic outlook than those given in the March and April surveys.
In May, 38 per cent of respondents also said they expect to spend the same amount as planned earlier, with 17 per cent planning to decrease their budget by up to 20 per cent. Comparatively, the April survey showed that while 35 per cent would stick to the same travel budget for this year, projected decreases in spending were slightly greater. “Perhaps travellers found some financial solutions or were feeling more fearful in the first phases of the quarantine,” LuggageHero mused.
As travel restrictions start to lift, it certainly seems that domestic travel will be the most popular form of travel at first. But, as commercial transport operators begin to restart their operations, industry-wide protocols that adhere to Covid-19 health and safety standards are likely to hinder any kind of mass increase in travel during the coming months.
Still, it’s interesting to note that the demand for business travel overtakes that of international holiday travel in LuggageHero’s May survey results. With over half of those asked keen to take at least one business trip by the end of 2020 compared to a third of those asked keen to visit another country before September, perhaps we’re seeing signs that travellers have more confidence in the health and safety procedures involved in business travel? An interesting thought to ponder.