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New Survey Shows Positive Signs for Post-Pandemic Travel

May 14, 2020 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

Offering some much-needed hope to struggling travel agents, a survey by host agency Your Travel & Cruise has found that most Australians are ready to travel, including on a cruise, and the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t shaken their faith in travel agents.

The survey of 1600 Australians, all clients of Your Travel & Cruise home-based travel agents, revealed that nine out of ten Australians would consider a cruise in the future on the proviso that there will be stricter health and hygiene measures in place.

One survey respondent commented: “I feel the cruise industry needs to convince the travelling public that they have made significant changes to ensure passenger safety”, and another suggested that “cruise lines need to employ more doctors and nurses per ratio of passengers and crew”.

While the pandemic has left a negative impression of cruising on 28 per cent of those surveyed, 42 per cent still had a positive view of cruise holidays. The remaining 30 per cent were neutral.

Comments from respondents suggested that they would be more likely to try a small cruise ship and cruise locally at first, with travel insurance key to making them feel confident about booking their next cruise holiday.

Your Travel & Cruise Managing Director Les Farrar said he hoped the survey results would buoy the besieged cruise industry.

“The cruise industry has been among the hardest hit by the coronavirus, with many questioning how it will bounce back. These results show that most Australians aren’t giving up on cruising and have faith that cruise lines will make the necessary changes to ensure they can once again enjoy a holiday at sea. With nearly six per cent of the population taking a cruise each year, Australians are the most prolific cruisers in the world and these statistics underline the important role they will play in helping to revive the industry in the years to come,” Mr Farrar said.

In terms of eagerness to travel post-pandemic, around two-thirds of those surveyed (62 per cent) said they wanted to travel locally this year, while 85 per cent said they would be happy to holiday in the South Pacific region even before a COVID-19 vaccine was developed.

The only blip on the radar was long haul travel with 56 per cent of respondents saying they would not travel to destinations such as Europe or the USA until there was a vaccine.

The survey found that most (71 per cent) Australians felt the same about booking a holiday through an agent as they did before the pandemic, and only 15 per cent would be less likely to use an agent now. While some (38 per cent) respondents felt that agents’ handling of the crisis had harmed their reputation, most (50 per cent) said their perception was unchanged.

The survey also revealed that 71 per cent of people were happy to receive travel marketing, paving the way for agents to open lines of communication with their clients now.

“This pandemic has had a widespread and devastating effect on our industry and a lot of people are doing it tough but this survey shows that travel is going to bounce back quickly and in a big way, starting with our backyard. Now is the time to talk to clients about taking that trip to Queensland or hopping across the Tasman to explore all that New Zealand has to offer because Australians’ love of travel hasn’t waned amid the pandemic and most of us are ready to pack our bags and go as soon as we have the green light,” Mr Farrar said.

And it seems age is no barrier, with an 82-year-old survey respondent saying: “I’m in great shape for my age, I’m not going to let this virus scare me into giving in to it. I’ve got the time to travel and enough in the bank to do so, so let’s get on with it”.

Your Travel & Cruise is a host agency which helps home-based agents establish their own business with behind-the-scenes support including marketing and brand assistance, a website and live booking tools. Agents earn 80 per cent commission on sales.

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