A new Honeywell survey conducted by YouGov PLC finds travelers are placing an increased focus on cleanliness and hygiene when selecting which airlines to fly and which hotels to book. Although cost also remains a top motivator in travel decisions, the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted travelers' focus toward safety as they make travel decisions. The Honeywell survey, which was conducted online among adults in the United States and United Kingdom, sought to better understand these shifting motivations.
Enhanced Cleanliness and Safety Boosts Traveler Confidence
When U.S. survey participants were asked about their criteria for selecting a travel brand or company, cleanliness/hygiene was the top factor (57%) in determining their choice — outranking cost and every other factor.
Providing an experience focused on cleanliness and safety has the potential to increase travelers' confidence. Among all survey participants who have traveled since March, roughly 6 in 10 of those who traveled by plane gave positive ratings to the cleanliness and safety procedures at the airport (61%) and in flight (58%), and a majority of survey participants who traveled by any means indicated a positive cleanliness and safety experience with lodging (68%).
"Travel and hospitality companies that lead the way on safety and cleanliness protocols during the pandemic are likely to be better positioned when global travel rebounds," said Bill Kircos, vice president, Global Marketing, Honeywell Aerospace. "It's evident that airlines, airports and lodging providers must address safety and cleanliness as part of their core brand offering now and in the future. Honeywell worked quickly to create new solutions and accelerate efforts that help increase passenger and guest safety while also improving cleanliness at the airport, in flight and at hotels."
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed many perceptions, concerns and motivators around travel, impacting airports, airplanes and hotels. The Honeywell survey uncovered insights into the changing perceptions of all three.
- Ninety-two percent of those surveyed who have traveled by air since March had either a positive (61%) or neutral (31%) experience at the airport regarding health and safety. Their airport experiences are making 40% of recent air travelers more likely to travel again before June 2021, as opposed to 15% saying their experience would make them less likely to travel.
- When compared with other parts of the travel journey, lodging posed the least concern for travelers surveyed with only 9% highlighting it as the leg of the journey that most concerns them.
- For those surveyed who have stayed in a hotel since March, 93% reported a positive experience regarding safety and cleanliness.
- More than half (52%) of those surveyed with upcoming air travel plans plan to stay in hotels versus less than a quarter (22%) planning to use vacation rentals.
- Forty-eight percent of adults surveyed said enhanced cleanliness or health and safety procedures would most motivate them to stay in a hotel.
"Although lodging is not currently the top concern for many when it comes to their travel journey, consumers are giving additional thought to where they stay," Kircos said. "And although vacation rentals have gained in popularity in recent years, we're seeing consumers put their trust in hotels because they feel more confident in their cleanliness and hygiene standards."
U.S. Versus U.K. Travelers' Preferences
The survey considered insights garnered collectively from respondents in the U.S. and U.K., and although responses from each country mirrored each other in many ways, there were country distinctions in terms of motivators, barriers and attitudes toward travel.
- Among those who haven't flown since March, a COVID-19 vaccine was the top motivator to return to air travel (48%). However, more U.K. respondents (52%) were motivated by a vaccine than U.S. respondents (42%).
- U.K. respondents with air travel plans in the next eight months are most likely to be planning on staying in hotels (57%, versus 43% of Americans) while those in the U.S are more likely to say they'll be staying at a relative's or friend's home (50%, versus 31% of Britons).
Technology Plays Key Role in Increased Safety Protocols
With solutions like the Honeywell UV Treatment System, passenger and crew personal protective equipment, on-site thermal screening technology, and comprehensive building management solutions, Honeywell can help airlines, airports and lodging providers increase overall cleanliness and safety, giving passengers, crews and guests greater peace of mind in their travel journeys.
Honeywell's Healthy Buildings solutions help building owners improve the health of building environments, operate more cleanly and safely, comply with social distancing policies, and help reassure occupants that a space is safer. By integrating air quality, safety and security technologies along with advanced analytics, Honeywell's Healthy Buildings solutions are designed to help reduce potential risks of contamination and improve business continuity by monitoring both the building environment and building occupants' behaviors and include specific solutions for the airport and hospitality sectors.
This survey was conducted for Honeywell by YouGov PLC using an online interview administered to members of the YouGov panel of individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys. Emails are sent to panelists selected at random from the base sample. The survey was composed of 3,336 adults and was undertaken Nov. 6-10, 2020. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. and U.K. adults (aged 18+).