A new report released by Medallia Zingle examines just how the pandemic has altered American behaviors and views towards travel, as well as the challenges and opportunities that exist for brands in the coming months. The report is based on data from a survey of more than 1,000 Americans.
Recently, TSA said it screened the highest number of passengers on a single day since the early days of the pandemic, which suggests that travel is starting to pick up again. And now, Medallia Zingle reports that the vast majority of American consumers (72%) say that they plan to travel at the same rate as they did pre-pandemic.
While this certainly adds to the momentum that travel and hospitality has been seeing of late, it’s also becoming increasingly clear that this new era of travel is far different from the old, in particular due to consumers’ lingering preferences for contactless experiences. For example, while 67% of Americans say they expect hotels to adopt contactless, touch-free check-in processes as well as a host of other precautions going forward -- an additional 77% went as far as to admit that even after a vaccine becomes widely available, the amount of in-person interaction required will factor into their decision of whether or not to travel.
Medallia Zingle’s ‘Return to Travel: Setting the Stage for the New Guest Experience’ report is live here. Additional highlights include:
Hotels Already Experiencing a Rebound: 40% of Americans have stayed at a hotel in the last three months -- a considerable recovery for an industry that has had to overcome mass vacancies, layoffs and closures. While 63% rated their guest experience as four stars or above, 58% admitted they worried about contracting COVID-19 at some point during their stay.
Over a Third of Americans Call for Quick Contactless Communication: 36% of Americans say that when they have questions about a hotel’s safety standards and processes before visiting, they expect a response within 5 minutes or less.
Online Reviews Reassure Guests: 46% of Americans say that going forward, online reviews that include information on the quality of a hotel’s health and safety processes and standards will be “extremely” important when choosing a destination to stay at.
Travelers List Their Top Safety Priorities: The top three safety measures individuals expect hotels to adopt are: more intense room cleaning (eg, UV light disinfectant) (74%), Contactless, touch-free check in process (67%), and Temperature checks/health screenings for guests (54%).