People place travel above entertainment, shopping

After two years of border closures and travel curbs, people are prioritising travel over entertainment, shopping and even self-care, says a new study by Travelport.

Travelport, a global technology company that powers bookings for hundreds of thousands of travel suppliers worldwide, has revealed the survey that highlighted excitement to travel in 2022.

In the study commissioned by Travelport and conducted by Toluna Research, thousands of respondents from seven different countries said they’d even be willing to give up some of their favourite things for six months or longer in order to travel.

Some 71 per cent of respondents would forgo concerts, 63 per cent would give up spa treatments, with 36 per cent claiming they would stop dining at restaurants.

The report expects 85 per cent recovery by end of the year. “While the last two+ years have been a significant challenge, the global travel industry recovered more than 50 per cent of its gross activity by the end of 2021,” said Jen Catto, Chief Marketing Officer for Travelport.

“Should this trend continue along the same trajectory, it could reach 85 per cent recovery by the end of this year. The pent-up desire to travel is strong. Our latest survey findings clearly demonstrate this, highlighting how many indulgences people are willing to sacrifice in order to travel again.”

However, not every aspect of the travel experience received the same level of enthusiasm. A notable experience gap emerged between the high degree of enjoyment respondents get from going on holiday and the frustration they experienced when booking that very same trip.

Globally, travel was ranked as the number one most enjoyable activity, but when it came to shopping for travel, the industry dropped to the number four spot: the complexity of searching, comparing and booking travel offers just isn’t fun.

“Shopping for travel is complicated, which is why Travelport has made simplifying the complex travel ecosystem its mission,” continued Catto. “With demand for travel rebounding at its strongest pace since the pandemic began, it’s imperative the industry listens to its customers. Now is the time for us to fix travel retail, putting consumer convenience, digital experience, and breadth of choice above all. By restoring clarity, confidence, and fun to travel shopping, we can grow trust, generate repeat business and inspire true loyalty – the benchmark of successful modern retailing.”

*This study was conducted by Toluna Research, polling more than 2,000 respondents from the US, UK, Australia, Hong Kong SAR, India, Singapore and the UAE.