Opodo’s Post-Covid Consumer Poll: UK, USA, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain & Sweden
eDreams ODIGEO, Europe’s largest online travel company, has surveyed 10,000 respondents across its American and European markets to reveal sentiments about travelling since the appearance of COVID-19. Conducted between 16th and 29th September 2020 and including 2000 UK respondents, it exposes our changing priorities, resilience and actual travel habits over the summer and our hopes for the future of travel.
A quest for reassurance: flexibility is the real key for British travellers looking ahead, with almost 60% stating looking for flights and accommodation with guaranteed refunds should the trip be cancelled due to Covid. Interestingly, women are 6% more interested in financial guarantees than men, but across all markets this demand is the overwhelming priority: only Spain gives the availability of a vaccine broadly equal importance (60% look for the promise of a refund against 61% waiting for a scientific breakthrough).
Opodo’s results indicate that the majority of those surveyed – 78% – are concerned about travel in our post-Covid reality compared to just 5% who profess not to think about the virus when travelling. As a nation, we Brits are the most jittery, with 41% of us admitting to being scared or worried about the virus compared to a European average of just 35%. 40% of American respondents admit to feeling nervous compared to our most sanguine of neighbours – France – who are the least concerned – just 20% admitting to nerves. Moreover, women are likely to be more hesitant about travel right now (48% compared to just 34% of men).
Summer travel: almost 36% of British respondents reported changing their summer plans to more remote destinations in order to avoid crowds, and for those who did venture abroad, most felt most safe on the flight itself because of the mandatory use of face masks (30%) and, in the hotel and apartment on arrival (30%). Despite that, in general, fewer travellers chose to venture abroad this summer and the overwhelming trend was to make the most of our home countries – 27% of Brits and an overall average of 41% – though many also report not travelling at all as a direct result of Covid. A whacking 44% of British respondents stayed put at home because of the virus: the highest percentage of non-travellers across all markets, closely followed by the United States (40%) and in contrast to just 14% of French respondents who were also the largest group (22%) to have made no changes to their plans whatsoever as a result of the pandemic.
What next? Opodo’s survey gives the travel industry reason to hope, indicating that travellers across all the markets polled are beginning to plan their 2021 holidays, with more than half (51%) of all responses indicating that short, long and even extended trips are on the drawing board. Most (44%) will have an extra eye for hygiene conditions and rely on government and official advice when booking travel and 37% will choose countries they are familiar with and that have robust medical systems. We are cautious – 31% report that they will avoid mass tourist destinations – and bookings may be later than was traditional pre-COVID (33% express a preference of booking last minute) but we have not stopped dreaming: Brits are hopeful primarily for beach holidays (35%) with a further 21% of respondents longing for a city break – figures broadly on par with the rest of Europe and the US.