The pandemic’s upheaval of the global tourism industry has reduced consumer confidence in travel, be it international or domestic. Rapid and widespread vaccination programmes, namely in Malaysia and Singapore, have contributed to a rising demand and trust in travel during the abating COVID-19 pandemic. In a two-part study, InsightzClub investigated changing consumer perception in travel as restrictions were lifted, and travel re-established in South East Asia.
As of October 13th 2021, 66.6% of the Malaysian population are fully vaccinated; those individuals are afforded liberties that unvaccinated individuals are not. Among them is the permission to travel abroad and across state lines without approval from authorities. In InsightzClub’s first study, a minor percentage of participants reported dissent with the exclusive travel rights awarded to fully vaccinated individuals (16%). Those in agreement totalled 66%, indicating that unvaccinated individuals may be dissatisfied with the current restrictions for them. AirAsia, the world’s best low-cost airline announced that they will no longer be boarding unvaccinated passengers. This reflects industry-wide approach to reviving consumer interest in travel, while maintaining high levels of consumer confidence.
Type of Travel
Domestic is touted to be the reviver of the global industry as individuals are more confident in travelling across state lines, instead of exposing themselves to the risk of contracting the coronavirus or encountering logistical issues while travelling abroad. Participants reported that they were most comfortable, and likely, to travel using private means of travel, (54%) as compared to flying (27%) and bus rides (43%). There may be safety and cost concerns among potential travellers, thus encouraging them to travel using their own means.
In the second study, participants stated that the first type destination they plan on travelling to would be the beach and/or coastal resorts (52%). The remainder were interested in winter holidays and theme parks, 25% and 17% respectively.
As consumers become more confident in the safety measures for the travel and tourism industry, it is highly likely to predict an uptick in demand for travel services. Per the findings in study 1 and 2, consumers are highly informed of the restrictions and travel requirements at 71% and 62% respectively. This is strongly correlated with the high degree of confidence in current measures (55%).Rising travel confidence is further corroborated by analysis indicating that 63% of the participants travelled since the first study.
It is now more important than ever that travel companies maintain hygienic practices and consumer satisfaction. InsightzClub’s participants reported that cheaper fares, discounts, and special deals would definitely encourage them to start travelling again (69%). Along with the aforementioned evidence, consumers are motivated by perks and safety.
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