The travel industry is kicking into gear. Border and quarantine restrictions are easing up with increasing vaccination rates, and people are ready to travel even as the pandemic lingers. 1 Those traveling at this time, however, will no longer behave like pre-pandemic travelers.
Indeed, new research on APAC’s four biggest travel markets: Australia, India, Indonesia, and Japan, reveals that among travelers now, there is a 3X increase in intent to travel internationally. Sixty-one percent of travelers have also indicated a preference toward international travel for future leisure vacations, and the majority intend to travel for longer periods, and plan to visit only one or two countries per trip. 2
With this shift in travel trends from “when” to “how,” brands will have to adapt to the needs, preferences, and expectations of this new breed of traveler, and find ways to reach and excite them to go on trips.
Here’s what we’ve learned about this new breed of traveler that can help your brands prepare for the future of travel.
The traveler we’ve not met before
Given the complex nature of traveling during a pandemic, travelers will need to spend more time researching and planning, and they will want to get the most out of their trips. Across the four markets, we saw a 17% increase in the average booking time. In particular, travelers spent an average of 56 days planning for international travel, which is 30% longer than the time taken to plan domestic travel.
The effort that goes into planning international leisure trips means that for the new breed of traveler, such trips are likely to be longer and more focused milestone events than was the pre-pandemic case. Our research shows that travelers are twice as likely to make fewer trips than before, and they are also 3X more likely to cover only one or two countries per trip. 4
When they travel, they’ll make time to do, see, and spend more: 25% say they will travel for more than two weeks, and around 87% of travelers will organize international trips that last five days or longer. an increase from 2019, when tourist stays at international accommodations averaged three to four days.
The preferences of this new breed of traveler mean it’s even more critical for brands to engage them throughout the path to purchase, from research and discovery to bookings and activities.