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Travelers Becoming More Confident about Travel

​A series of surveys shows travelers are looking to the skies again, although picture remains somewhat clouded

Travelers are becoming more confident about travel according to several surveys released this week.

The first comes from Global Rescue, the leading travel risk, crisis management and response company. Its Traveler Sentiment and Safety Survey released at the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit (WTTC) in Cancun, Mexico this week shows that 78 percent of respondents are “much less” or “less” concerned about travel safety in 2021 compared to 2020.

Meanwhile, a survey from travel technology company Amadeus has found that business travelers are comfortable enough to travel today with the right safety travel measures in place (70 percent, rising to 84 percent for frequent travelers).

The Global Rescue survey found that travelers are closely split in their support for (46 percent) or against (42 percent) using vaccine certifications for domestic travel. Approval shifts decisively regarding international trips with 70 percent of respondents favoring the use of vaccine certificates. The overwhelming majority of respondents (91 percent) would submit to fast, on-site Covid-19 testing to check for coronavirus before travel, and 80 percent said they would pay for the test depending on cost.

Travelers revealed strong preferences to control their own vaccination and testing data rather than entrusting centralized organizations. Some 45 percent of respondents want their proof of vaccination and Covid-19 test results to be held by the individual, and presented as necessary. Another 16 percent do not want the data collected at all.

“Travelers are twice as likely to plan international trips within the next six months as they were in September 2020,” said Dan Richards, CEO of Global Rescue. Part of the reason may be because US travelers have already been travelling domestically.

“Nearly three-quarters of surveyed travelers have already taken a domestic trip or are planning to take one before July,” he added.

The pandemic is leading travelers to modify their trip plans in a number of ways. A majority of travelers (54 percent) indicated they would avoid crowded destinations and places with insufficient medical facilities (22 percent), and these are the leading concerns preventing them from visiting an area.

Rudy Daniello, Executive Vice President Corporations, Amadeus commented: “Our findings show that travelers are eager to travel if the right safety measures are in place, which is hugely encouraging for the business travel industry.”

Finally a survey of travel managers by the ITM (Institute of Travel Managers) shows an expectation that business travel will start to increase in the second half of this year. Levels will remain much lower, however, with only a quarter of buyers anticipating travel will scale up in Q3 to 25 per cent of pre pandemic levels, with 41 percent predicting that volume returning in Q4. The greatest enablers to a return to business travel in order of priority was considered to be vaccination programs, Covid testing and traveler confidence.