STRONG PENT-UP DEMAND FOR TRAVEL, INCLINATION FOR MINI BREAKS; TRAVEL INSIGHTS REPORT BY CLEARTRIP UNRAVELS INTERESTING STATISTICS AND TRENDS FOR PANDEMIC TIMES
• The report reveals responses of residents from UAE and KSA, percentage spilt of 68% and 32% respectively. • Survey of close to 6,000 travellers in UAE & KSA shows nearby destinations are about to boom. • Rise in leisure travel and decline in business travel will see a shift in traveller preferences towards a new set of destinations. • Travellers expect enhanced health and safety measures to address risks.
Cleartrip, the leading OTA platform of the region, today released new research findings and travel trends through its ‘Travel Insights Report’, disclosing an optimistic consumer sentiment for travel despite the current challenging environment.
The extensive survey was conducted with 5,678 respondents residing within the UAE and Saudi Arabia and highlights their thoughts, feelings, and behaviour surrounding travel. Key findings from the survey were (participants were allowed to choose more than one answer):
• 72% of respondents are ready to travel within the next 6 months under the presence of safety measures. While 16% of respondents are comfortable travelling only once they get vaccinated.
• Another interesting finding was that 42% of respondents stated that the duration of their next trip would be 5 days or less. However, there is also an appetite for slightly longer trips with 38% of respondents opting for a duration of 6-11 days.
• Close to 65% of respondents identified confidence measures such as safe travel enablers and lower rates of COVID-19 cases, as the key consideration factors when planning their travel.
• 35% of respondents admitted that easy quarantine rules and affordability will be the popular combination this year when selecting a destination. This will bring further attention to the top 5 popular destinations that respondents are looking forward to visit which includes Singapore, Maldives, Georgia, Turkey and India.
Commenting on the report announcement, Stuart Crighton, Founder and CEO, Cleartrip, said, “One of the keys to recovery will be the travel industry’s ability to respond to the changing needs of passengers and our survey provides insight into latest traveller sentiments. While it is encouraging that travellers are eager to travel again, it is the responsibility of the industry to build confidence and enable customers to make the right travel decisions with accurate real-time information on safety and travel requirements.”
As an industry leader, Cleartrip reveals what the next step may look like for leisure travellers and pointed to some key trends that may help a swift industry recovery.
Short airline route travel on rise
While most travel has been put on pause because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cleartrip’s Travel Insights Report indicates new travel trends leaning towards short flight trips. Combined with efficient safety measures and easy quarantine rules, destinations like Singapore, Maldives, Turkey, Georgia and India were amongst the top destinations that respondents are looking forward to travel.
The destination types that travellers today prefer are changing. 46% of respondents selected beach destinations as the most preferred for their next trip, followed by adventure holidays.
Another rising trend is – Staycation! With the average price drop of hotel tariffs by 35-40% within the UAE, residents are opting for quick staycations within the luxury hotels of the UAE. Booking data showcases that 39% of hotels booked in the UAE were luxury 5-star resorts.
Homebound travel as immediate travel alternative
With travel and quarantine restrictions in place across several countries, residents who would usually escape to various leisure destinations have opted for homebound travel instead. Most of the recent travellers from the UAE were for India, Pakistan, Egypt and Bangladesh. Due to international border closures in KSA, there was a shift towards domestic travel within the Kingdom.
Changing Fare trends
While prices to some destinations came down, others saw steep rise over pre-COVID fares. Increased capacity led to more competent airfares from UAE to India, Pakistan while other destinations such as Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Oman, Kuwait witnessed capacity constraints leading to higher fares.
New booking trends by customers
As compared to pre-COVID, there is a lot of uncertainty with regardsto travel in recent times due to which there has been an increase in near term bookings with over 54% of bookings made within a week of the travel date. Also, due to changing Government mandates and restrictions, travellers are purchasing oneway tickets that offers them greater flexibility. 81% of bookings during Sep’20 – Jan’21 were one-way flights as opposed to 63% during the same period last year.
Adding to the findings and Insights Report reveal, Mr. Amit Taneja, CCO, Cleartrip said, “The pandemic has had a significant impact on customer behaviour. We anticipated safety and uncertainty to be a primary determinant of travel plans. In an attempt to increase customer confidence to travel, we have built TravelSafe and Flexifly, with the objectives of providing a curated view on all safety concerns that customers may have around travel and providing them with flexibility to amend their booking with no additional charges, in case of change in plans.”