Payments firm Flywire has released new research showing that travel agents, as well as operators, receive high marks for handling interruptions the pandemic has caused but that travelers also have “suggestions for improvement,” according to an announcement.
“The economic loss combined with the lack of clear guidelines as to when consumers can travel freely again puts a lot of stress both on travel providers and the consumers they serve,” Colin Smyth, senior director of travel and commercial segments at Flywire, said in the announcement. “It’s also impacting consumers significantly. In times like these, people crave a break from their normal routine; they are looking for new challenges and action-packed adventures. These are experiences uniquely offered through travel.”
More than 9 in 10 — or 93 percent — of respondents are confident the travel industry will remain following the pandemic, while 69 percent intend to travel once more when it is. In addition, 74 percent of respondents the thought of traveling once more as they self-isolate keeps them going. And more than 50 percent of polled travelers will spend the same on travel for the rest of 2020/2021 as they did in 2019 and one in five will bolster their travel budgets.
Also, 88 percent of respondents indicate that ease of payment is important to their whole travel experience, and 48 percent noted it is very important. And 66 percent of those surveyed said the payment experience influences their selection of tour operator or travel agent. The results suggest that “ensuring a seamless payment experience can directly impact revenue for travel agents and operators as they try to bounce back,” according to the announcement.
Meanwhile, the pandemic has brought about a level of interruption to travel plans that hasn’t been seen before and has had effects on travelers as well as providers. More than three-quarters — or 77 percent — of respondents indicate that the industry is performing well under the current realities. But 88 percent of respondents noted the travel vertical has to be more adaptable in handling cancellations and modifications.
Hotels earned the highest marks for their efforts, but air carriers and cruises were seen as “the least responsive” per the release.
And 82 percent of those polled noted that traveling is a way to relax their soul, while 72 percent indicate the chance to travel once more provides them with an experience to anticipate.
In a June PYMNTS survey, 50 percent of respondents indicated a desire to travel within the U.S., while approximately 20 percent said they wanted to travel internationally. Additionally, roughly 54 percent of respondents said they wanted to attend leisure events.