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07/07/2021

Survey: Travelers Consistently Place Enhanced Safety & Cleanliness Protocols Toward the Bottom of Their List

Additionally, travelers overwhelmingly agreed that “upgrades on check-in” were better for increasing loyalty. 
Michal Christine Escobar
Senior Editor (Hotels)
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Parker Sanpei, a forward-looking PR and marketing consultancy, has released a comprehensive study entitled “The Future of Travel & Hospitality: Post-Pandemic and Beyond.” The study, available as a free download on the Parker Sanpei website, was created from unbiased data generated from experienced travelers using a “Swarm Intelligence” platform. The study is composed of twenty-four predictions about travel timing, distance, accommodations features that will attract travelers, and the kinds of branding, marketing and messaging that will most resonate with them. It is presented in a visual format with summaries of what professionals should do with the information. 

“Our research began with an Advanced Strategy session with industry professionals to learn what they needed to know about how the pandemic may have changed their future operations. We then led travelers through a one-hour swarm session that resulted in quite a few surprises. They were far more optimistic and specific about their wants and needs than our experts expected,” said Parker Sanpei President and CEO, Linda Sanpei. 

Marketing and operations executives who have the foresight to get ahead of the changing trends found in the study are using this information now to prepare their strategies and budgets for the next few years:

  • 92% of the swarm agreed in less than 8 seconds that travelers will head to international sites once the world is safe. This is a warning for domestic destinations only looking at good sales in the immediate future.
  • Throughout the study the swarm consistently placed enhanced safety and cleanliness protocols toward the bottom of their criteria. This was good news to our experts who were trying to find new budgets.
  • There is no preference between vacation rentals and hotels/resorts, so accommodations need to dig into how travelers will make their selection (detailed in the study).
  • By the end of a 14-second deliberation that started with “packages and promotions” being most important to return travelers, the swarm overwhelmingly agreed that “upgrades on check-in” were better for increasing loyalty. 
  • Marketing and advertising that will work with travelers presented the most unexpected predictions and are steering our experts away from wasting money while focusing on things like brand building, packages and imagery over traditional tactics like print ads (with a 92% negative rating) and travel planning sites (with a 60% negative rating).

“We saw examples throughout our study of how traditional surveys would have been inconclusive or entirely wrong,” said Parker Sanpei Chief Marketing Officer, Doug Klein. “The problem with the data many professionals get,” he continued,” is that it is not gathered in an unbiased group setting where we can track how people influence and are influenced by others. Answers we’ve always accepted as obvious from published surveys just don’t hold up when these influences are brought into the process. It’s this new dimension of collective intelligence we used in this study that has predicted election outcomes, sporting events scores, the Oscars, and even the stock market. It’s super exciting to be able to offer this to our clients.”

Parker Sanpei’s Swarm Intelligence platform provides deeper insights from new dimensions like “support density,” “faction support over time,” “time to decision,” “choice switch frequency” and even individual recordings of every question and answer period. Every participant’s decision process can even be analyzed individually or as part of a segment of participants. And even though swarms can be twice as accurate as traditional surveys or focus groups, running a swarm session is far simpler and more affordable with clients able to remain mostly hands-off.

Swarm intelligence sessions are conducted with a web-based platform similar to an online game, moderated by artificial intelligence. As participants work together through groupthink to deliberate over the best answers to strategic questions, measurements are captured four times a second that provide a wealth of knowledge into their decision-making process. Questions are carefully constructed to get the swarm to think about people like them. In combination with the unique jury-like process and artificial intelligence helping the group collaborate on a single “best” answer, it only takes only 25 to 50 people to represent the decision-making of thousands.

“Our hope is that this research and new, more accurate way of getting into the minds of consumers, will help guide an industry that touches so many lives into full recovery,” concluded Sanpei.

For more information on Swarm Intelligence research, visit parkersanpei.com