EA and GGA surveyed 8,700 travellers across eight countries in the US and Europe from February to April 2021. The survey respondents, who indicated they would be travelling in the next 18 months and planned to book a vacation rental, were surveyed on their booking preferences, travel habits, and changing adoption and utilisation of vacation rentals.
Francine Abgrall, Group Head of Travel at Europ Assistance, said: “We felt it was important to gauge the sentiment of the average traveller to provide ourselves and our partners, leaders in the Vacation Rental booking industry, with valuable insights. Overall, the travellers we surveyed are excited to travel again. While Europeans indicated they would prefer to travel abroad, Americans opted to stay closer to home. When deciding what type of accommodation they would like on their next trip, 71 per cent indicated they would book a vacation rental.”
New travel habits have formed due to the pandemic
The survey asked respondents how their travel behaviour changed due to the pandemic:
- Top three criteria when picking a destination as a result of Covid were: 1) that a destination has clear cleaning protocols, 2) how crowded the location gets, 3) who they travel with.
- Vaccine availability was most likely to impact travel plans for both Europeans (83 per cent) and Americans (82 per cent).
- 66 per cent of Europeans and 64 per cent of Americans indicated that making Covid vaccinations mandatory to board a flight wouldn’t impact them as they already planned to take the vaccine.
- 21 per cent of European travellers who were undecided about taking the vaccine indicated they would consider it if it was mandatory to take a flight.
Travellers more likely to purchase travel insurance
Findings include the respondent’s thoughts on travel insurance:
- 70 per cent of Europeans and 64 per cent of Americans indicated they would be more likely to purchase travel insurance as a result of the pandemic.
- 44 per cent of Europeans compared to 33 per cent had purchased travel insurance when booking a vacation rental in the past.
- The top three coverages that reassured travellers looking to book vacation rentals are: 1) cancellation in the event of Covid infection or confinement (43 per cent), 2) medical assistance & repatriation (22 per cent), 3) reimbursement of unused travel days in case their stay is interrupted (20 per cent)
- 23 per cent of Americans favoured coverage for reimbursement for unused days compared to 20 per cent of Europeans; while Europeans (23 per cent) found more peace of mind from medical assistance & repatriation coverage compared to Americans (17 per cent).
Chris Carnicelli, CEO of Generali Global Assistance, concluded: “Given the pent-up demand for travel it’s not surprising that approximately 80 per cent of respondents indicated that they planned to travel in the next 18 months. Based on the findings of our Vacation Rental Barometer and current industry trends, we anticipate that travellers will flock to vacation rentals as they look to have a relaxing socially distanced getaway.”