Travelling after covid

Travelling The Day After COVID-19

The Boutique Vibe asked more than 400 people across 52 countries about their travel intentions for the coming months.
The survey shows that despite the confusion and uncertainty, most people are longing for their next trip. However, the pandemic will shape the choice of destination, as the trip will be decided following safety and health measures as well as local regulations.

Strong willingness to travel despite the uncertainty

At this time, travel restrictions and border closures are constantly changing. Traveling in the COVID era is associated with confusion and complexity. That’s what 53% the Boutique Vibe’s travelers confirm. Despite the confusion and uncertainty, the willingness to travel is as strong as ever. Merely 25% of the travelers are willing to wait for an antibodies test to be widely released before traveling, while just 29% will wait for a vaccine. 
While most third party research stated that travelers will be taking more short-term trips, our independent survey discovered that only 26% agree with this. 

Travelling post-Covid: Where, When and why?

  • In line with most corporate policies that restrict business travel, only 13% of the responders indicated that they will be traveling for work. The travel will be planned mainly to see friends and family (49%) and for vacation (34%)
  • When it comes to timing there is a wide range of responses, with 37% of the travelers stating that they will wait for at least one to three months after the restrictions are lifted before they travel, while another 33% are willing to wait even less.
  • The pandemic has influenced the way travelers select their next travel destination. Safety and security of the destination are by far the main driver followed by the rules and regulations put in place at the destination. Only senior travelers aged over 55 take into serious consideration the quality of the healthcare system (40%) along with families (37%).
  • After long stay-home mandates and social distancing measures, travelers are looking to open-air destinations and more ways to connect with nature. Having said that, seasonality plays also a big role in the expressed preference. For their next trip, travelers dream of refreshing sea breeze (69%), the greenery of the countryside (46%), and the mountain’s fresh air (43%), while urban trips will be avoided by 67% of the respondents.

Accommodation: Small goes BIG!

  • Comparing preferred accommodation before the pandemic and after, Small and boutique hotels are proven to be more resilient to the disruption: approximately 50% of the travelers consider those intimate small properties over other types of accommodation.
  • Branded and chain hotels are “hit” harder by the pandemic as travelers’ preference dropped by 10pp, in favor of staying with family and friends, nonetheless, they remain the number one choice for travelers (52% preference)

Travelers will spend more time to choose the right type of accommodation. Direct booking on the rise!

  • Travelers expressed the importance to gain the right information at the time of the booking as confusion and complexity are increasing. Although travel restrictions may be eased at some point, everyone knows the experience will be different, mainly impacted by the sanitary protocols and various individual rules. Thus most travelers (54%) will spend more time doing some pre-travel homework to find the right type of accommodation.
  • Approximately 1/3 of the travelers are willing to spend more than usual on their accommodation
  • The proportion of travelers who would book directly with the hotel have tripled though (up to 22%) while using an online platform dropped by 15pp.

Travelers will pay more attention to the booking policies and hygiene measures

  • While the choice of the hotel is still lead primarily by the location, both the measures in place and the cancellation policies are considered as very important criteria to select an hotel in a post-COVID world.
  • Travelers expect hotels to implement flexible cancellation and rebooking policies (75%). These policies are now considered as the main criteria to select their hotel, along with the unbeatable location.
  • Hotels are also expected to communicate about their hygiene and safety measures. Most Travelers consider social distancing measures (66%), sanitization protocols (69%) as an essential requirement that every accommodation should comply with.

More insights and graphs in the full report here