With the lifting of many lockdown restrictions fast-tracked to June 29th and with many Irish consumers contemplating their holiday options, an independent survey of over 135 consumers*, commissioned by travel insurance provider Allianz Partners, shows that 80% of people are keen to take a holiday sooner rather than later. By comparison, 20% say they have no desire to take a holiday even if it is officially safe to travel.
As Failte Ireland launches its new €2.5m marketing campaign to encourage staycations, 43% of consumers want to take a post-lockdown trip within Ireland, according to the survey. A further 37% are looking forward to foreign travel sooner than later, it also notes.
The survey also reveals that the biggest cause for concern among prospective holidaymakers in terms of travel was that 35% cited self-isolation on return while 27% said they were worried about distancing on ferries or planes.
“Although non-essential travel is currently suspended for most of us, the desire for a trip away from home has escalated. We wanted to learn more about people’s plans as we emerge from lockdown into a world where Covid-19 will be present for some while yet,” explains Roland Hesse, Managing Director at Allianz Partners. “With the travel restrictions set to be removed within Ireland from the end of the month, restrictions in other countries being lifted from the 15th June, Ryanair actively promoting flights to Europe from July 1st, and the 14 day quarantine requirements still in place we believe that consumer confidence in travel will be restored over the summer months.”
Some additional concerns about booking a holiday included the lack of access to tourist attractions and the cost of travel. Surprisingly, longer check in times wasn’t a major issue for potential holiday makers, according to the survey.
Hesse continues: “Our survey offers some good news for the travel industry, both here in Ireland and abroad. Whilst many consumers are being careful, staying alert to the risks and official advice, they are keen to get their travel plans back on track as soon as possible, once it’s safe.”
The survey results contrast quite significantly with the survey carried out by Allianz Assistance UK where it found that 69% of Brits eager to book a holiday post-lockdown and that concerns over the cost of future vacations outweighs their Covid-19 fears. In addition, the UK survey also found that 31% of consumers surveyed said they have no desire to plan a holiday even if it is officially confirmed safe to travel, leaving a significant majority of 69% ready and willing.
“The future of travel may look uncertain, but what is certain is that how we travel to destinations, particularly by air, will change once restrictions are lifted. The good news is that experts predict the changes will, in the long term, not only make travel safer but also a more enjoyable, stress-free experience,” concludes Hesse. “Our survey suggests that not only is there an appetite by people to travel sooner rather than later, but that they will be happy to embrace the changes needed to make it possible.”