Since February-March 2020, we have been living in a period without precedent. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people live, all over the world. The economic impact is worth billions of euros globally. In this article, we will discuss some of the ways consumer travel habits have changed during the pandemic, and what you can do about it.
The biggest impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on consumer habits is through travel restrictions. To curb the spread of the virus, governments all over the world have enforced full or partial lockdowns. Some countries are open, some closed. Some countries accept tourists only from selected countries. Some countries accept only tourists with a negative COVID test or with a vaccine.
This has changed the way people search for and book flights, hotels, city breaks and holidays. One of the biggest trends is to book at the last minute. Because of the unpredictable nature of the restrictions, consumers are waiting until a week or two before traveling to book, to be sure they will be able to go.
If you do most of your business offline, there is something you can do about this: you can start investing in a real online presence. This is the case if you have a website without the ability to provide real-time prices and availability. If you have a platform that can bring real-time prices and availability, you can respond rapidly to tourists who want to travel last-minute. Such a platform puts flights, accommodation and holiday prices one click away on your website.
If you are just starting up a travel agency, you should definitely invest in an online platform. People love to search and book online. If you have a modern online platform, you can help them find the best available options. When departure is imminent, tourists are much more eager to buy than those just browsing.
The other big change in consumer habits is the increasing online traffic. More and more people prefer to search at their leisure and not visit an agency or call their travel agent. If they can find you online and you have a platform like Travitude in place, they can search and book without disturbing you. Of course, you will have to select and promote the best options for the destinations that you cover.
In short, we think the online trend that started a few years ago has been accelerated by the pandemic and will reshape habits for good. To read more about how we see online platforms and find out what a good platform can do for you, sign up for our newsletter here. We have a series of 25+ daily articles that will give you a much better idea about what works in online travel.