A Global Traveler Study commissioned by Amadeus discovered mobile applications that provide on-trip notifications and alerts is the most appealing technology for 56% of Indian travelers to increase their confidence to travel in the next 12 months.
As 2020 comes to an end, leaders in governments and key industries are working to determine how people can safely return to work, particularly in travel and tourism where jobs in hospitality, airlines, cruises, travel agencies, car rentals, rideshares, events, attractions and so much more, accounted for 1 in 10 jobs in the world pre-COVID, as per the World Travel & Tourism Council statistics.
New Consumer Research
To gain more insight into how the travel industry and governments can work to rebuild traveler confidence, Amadeus, a global leader in travel technology, commissioned research to learn more about traveler’s top concerns and what types of technology would help travelers feel safe and comfortable enough to travel and help spur recovery of the travel sector.
Informed by over 6,000 travelers across India, Singapore, France, Germany, UK and US, the study found that technology plays a crucial role in supporting recovery, as over 4 in 5 (84%) travelers said technology would increase their confidence to travel in the next 12 months by addressing concerns around mixing with crowds, social distancing and physical touchpoints. Approximately 1,000 respondents came from India.
When asked about what would make them more likely to travel, respondents in India say:
- Access to technology that reduces human contact, queues and physical touchpoints were the ultimate factor for getting Indian’s traveling again (40%). This was especially important for Baby Boomers, where 73% of respondents cited it as their top concern compared with 28% of Generation Z.
- This was followed by the need for effective test, track and trace programmes to contain infections (40%); visibility to and assurance of sanitization, hygiene and safety measures in hotels and accommodations (39%) and limiting the number of passengers on flights (38%).
- Mobile applications that provide on-trip notifications and alerts emerged as the most appealing technology to increase confidence for Indian travelers (56%). This was followed by the need for contactless payments (54%) and the ability to have airline boarding passes on their phones (51%).
- Baby Boomers were much more open to facial recognition technologies (53%) compared with their Generation Z counterparts (24%) For Millennial and Generation X respondents, automated cleaning processes ranked similarly in the level of importance (49% vs 52%).
- Meanwhile, passengers taking long-haul flights were more likely to require mobile boarding passes than short-haul passengers (62% vs 53% ), while 50% of leisure passengers would use contactless payments over 47% of business travelers.
- Long-haul flight passengers were slightly more likely than short-haul flight passengers to be concerned about being stranded (27% vs 31%) or quarantined (39% vs 34%).
- Technologies that ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of national test, track and trace programmes were most important to Baby Boomers (47%), followed by Generation X (40%), Millennials (33%), and Generation Z (21%).
Overall, the priorities Indian travelers wanted from technology were for it to:
- Minimize face-to-face or physical contact with others (34%)
- Reduce queues and congestion in public places (32%), compared to 45% in Singapore
- Protect financial data and personal information (32%), slightly less than Singapore (37%)
- Minimize the requirement for physical documents (31%)
Cyril Tetaz, Executive Vice-President of Airlines, Asia-Pacific, Amadeus, said: “India’s travel industry has started to show green shoots for recovery in the past months, and India’s aviation minister recently suggested that domestic passenger traffic could reach pre-COVID levels by the end of the year. This new consumer research further affirms the optimism for travel as many of the concerns can be addressed by technology available now, at every stage of the traveler experience.”
Mr. Tetaz said that they had seen COVID-19 accelerate trends that were already present, such as the drive towards digitalization and contactless technology, which were key themes picked out by Indian travelers in order to feel confident traveling again. “These are areas that we are already working closely on with our airline, airport and hospitality customers, and we will continue to focus on this,” he said continuing that beyond technology, collaboration across industry and governments will continue to be key to this recovery.
“Together, we need to educate and provide travelers with the right information around safety and sanitization measures during the stages of their journey. For example, we have seen that social distancing and hygiene while traveling remains a high traveler concern, despite recent research from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on the extremely low rates of transmissions onboard aircraft due to cabin air filtering systems and other protection measures,” Mr. Tetaz said explaining that giving travelers easy access to the information they need to be assured of their safety was a fundamental tool in order to build traveler confidence and speed up recovery.