Use of Travel Advisors
• More than one-fourth of travelers (27%) always or often used a travel advisor prior to the pandemic.
- The more trips a traveler took in the past three years, the more likely he/she used a travel advisor. Among those who took six or more trips in the past three years, 39% always/often used a travel advisor compared to 12% who took one or two trips.
• After the pandemic is over, nearly half of travelers (44%) are more likely to use a travel advisor.
- Not surprisingly, nearly all travelers (94%) who always/often used a travel advisor before the pandemic are likely to use one after the pandemic. Among those who sometimes or rarely used a travel advisor pre-pandemic, 44% are likely to use one after the pandemic.
• People who always or often used a travel advisor are more ready to travel within the next three months (72%) compared to non-travel advisor users (47%).
• People who use a travel advisor are more likely to:
– Stay at an all-inclusive resort, 33% vs. 16%
– Go abroad as soon as they can, 35% vs 18% of non-travel advisor users.
– Take a cruise, 36% vs 10%
• 45% of people who always use a travel advisor rank quality time without kids as a top priority compared to 13% of non-travel advisor users.
• 70% of people who use a travel advisor rank ‘having a leisurely dinner’ as an important aspect of their next vacation compared to 51% of non-travel advisor users. When it comes to traveling with a significant other, travelers who use a travel advisor seem more inclined to focus on aspects of their trip that augment quality time and worry-free planning.
• 53% percent of travelers desire quiet time on the beach or by the pool.
• More than half of travelers are ready to travel now (29%) or within the next three months (25%). By the end of 2021, all but 19% of travelers will be ready to travel again.
– Among those who always/often used a travel advisor pre-pandemic, 72% will be ready to travel within three months.
– Among those who took six or more trips in the past three years, two-thirds (66%) will be ready to travel within 3 months.
Moving the needle with non-travel advisor users
• Complimentary room upgrade. 55% of people who never use a travel advisor rank a complimentary room upgrade as important. This is a potential area of opportunity for travel advisors who are marketing to new clients.
• Free breakfast anyone? 72% of people who never use a travel advisor rank ‘free breakfast’ as an important amenity on their next trip. This is another area of opportunity for travel advisors’ marketing efforts.
• Large percentages of travelers also desire for gratuities be included (48%), to enjoy personalized experiences (44%) or to receive complimentary fine dining (44%).
• Relationships and Trust: 55% of travelers who have never used a travel advisor are more likely to use one if it means they have access to the travel advisor’s special relationships and insider access. 51% of travelers who have never used a travel advisor are more likely to use one because the travel advisor puts the client’s interest above their own.
• The desirability of travel destinations has changed during the pandemic. Although nearly two-thirds of travelers (62%) desire going on vacation in the USA, nearly half (45%) would like to go to Europe, followed by 44% wishing to travel to the Caribbean.
– This is in stark contrast to a survey of travelers conducted by ASTA in January 2020 where 75% of travelers planned to take a trip within the USA and 17% had Europe on their itinerary.
– The 44% of travelers who want to take a trip to the Caribbean this year represent a 33% increase from January 2020.
• Desired traveler activities have also changed during the pandemic. The most desirable activities involve visiting historical places (53%), pristine beaches and sunsets (49%) or unique dining experiences (47%). Only 29% say they would like to visit a big city.