Travelport has released the findings of a report into what will make travellers confident to travel again amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The technology supplier and GDS commissioned and independent survey of 5,000 people in the US, UK, India, Australia and New Zealand for the Guide to Travel Recovery report.
It identified 10 different safety measures that travellers are looking for airlines, airports, hotels, and car rental firms to implement to reassure clients.
These include health and safety measures throughout the journey as well as fully flexible or refundable flight tickets.
The report, which also includes in-depth interviews with 29 leading travel suppliers, underlines the importance of measures like sanitation, social distancing and face mask.
It also reveals that travellers are more likely to book through a travel agent than before the COVID-19 crisis, with one third expecting to increase use of travel agent services.
This trend was particularly evident among millennials (44%). Overall, the two thirds (65%) who claimed this, said it was because they feel travel agents are best placed to provide them with the latest travel safety information.
Greg Webb, chief executive of Travelport said: “Over the last few months, the travel industry has rolled out many initiatives to support a safe, healthy and responsible return for travel.
“This study highlights the criticality these measures are now playing in restoring traveller confidence.
“However, for the majority of travellers to return to the skies, the industry now needs to work together to not only ensure a wide array of safety measures are in place throughout the travel journey, but to collectively communicate these changes to travellers using a range of channels and merchandising technologies.”
On a country level, the study revealed demand for almost every safety measure is highest in India.
Demand in New Zealand, while still high, tended to be the lowest across the five countries assessed.
When it comes to age groups, demand for robust safety measures was again high across all categories, however, it was highest among baby boomers and lowest among millennials.
Derek Sadubin, managing director of the CAPA centre for aviation, said: “Health and safety is understandably front of mind for travellers right now.
“The travel industry recognises and respects this and, what’s encouraging, is that many suppliers, such as airlines, have already implemented the safety measures travellers say they need to book a domestic or international trip – but we still have a long way to go.
“Collaboration and communication are now key to restoring traveler confidence and securing a strong and responsible industry recovery.”
Safety measures brought in by more than 80 of the world’s largest airlines can be found in the recently launched Travelport Airline Health & Safety Tracker.
The tool is free of charge for Travelport customers and the wider industry through the firm’s COVID-19 Smartpoint Plugin, Travelport’s API-based merchandising solution, Branded Fares Data File, and through the company’s COVID-19 Resource Hub for the general public.