Travel Plans on Hold March 19, 2020

Travel Plans on Hold

*This research was conducted over the last two weeks. Updates to travel restrictions are changing on a daily and even hourly basis.

Covid-19 has had an immense impact on the travel industry, with significant declines in both international and domestic passengers travelling through Sydney Airport. According to the Australian Financial Review, February saw a decrease of 17% and 4.5% of international and domestic passengers respectively for Sydney Airport.

Declines in the travel industry are only going to snowball, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison continues to introduce stricter international travelling restrictions for Australians, along with stricter social distancing restrictions. We conducted qualitative research with members of our Caféstudy community to better understand how their international travel plans are being impacted and what it means for the travel industry.

Understandably, the vast majority of members are very concerned about travelling during such uncertain times, with the Caféstudy community cancelling their flights and accommodation planned for the immediate future. The immediate future looks dire for the travel industry. However, there are some positive signs for the travel industry going forward, with many indicating that they intend on travelling once they feel confident it is safer to do so.

We were booked to go on a cruise next month, that is now on hold.

I have a few trips booked and paid for this year interstate, Europe and Indonesia, I am monitoring the situation at the moment.

I have travel plans to China next month and I am currently trying to cancel them. It’s a tour around China and a cruise from Shanghai to Japan. I would prefer not to go over that way until later in the year.

We are very stressed about it. We have a trip to Greece booked in 4 weeks time. We are both 60ish so are seriously considering cancelling or rescheduling for next year. Will it have settled by then?

With so much uncertainty, and with the situation changing so quickly, businesses must continue to communicate with customers. Social media allows a direct connection between brands and their customers, and is a powerful tool to help ease customers’ concerns and confusion around safety and refunds/cancellations.

It is also important to keep looking forward. While travel plans are on hold for now, once the crisis eases, people are expecting to reschedule and reorganise their holidays. Providing confidence and flexibility now will pay dividends in the future.

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