In addition to ensuring the physical wellbeing of travelers in the context of the pandemic with safety measures, mental wellbeing and experiences are factors that travelers are equally concerned about in their journey.
A report by Collinson, a company that provides traveler experiences including airport lounge access and medical and security assistance and travel medical services, explores travelers’ insights about mental wellbeing and safety measures when traveling during the pandemic. Those are important things to help travelers confidently travel again and have good experiences on their journeys.
Balancing safety measures and visitor experience
Hygiene and health measures have been a top concern of travelers in the past two years. According to the report by Collinson, 88% of passengers said that visible health and hygiene measures in the airport are important to them feeling safe while traveling in light of Covid. Nine out of 10 passengers believe that health measures would be intrinsically linked with a good travel experience in the future. Many travelers in the UK, Japan, the US and Australia said they would be willing to pay extra for a free seat next to them on the plane to feel safer.
However, in addition to visible safety measures to give travelers peace of mind when traveling, the traveler experience is needed to be balanced. The top reason why travelers are still hesitant to travel this time is the mandatory quarantine regulations of some countries. Sometimes this regulation makes travelers warier about booking trips than social distancing concerns or losing their money. Especially, in the context that the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly globally, many countries have reinstated mandatory quarantine regulations for travelers.
In Asia, Singapore was the most apprehensive about the regulation, with 71% of travelers concerned about being quarantined and 52% concerned about having to rearrange their plans if travel restrictions change. In second place is Australia with 65% of travelers being emphatic about not wanting to risk needing to quarantine. 57% of Hong Kong travelers were also afraid of this issue.
Contrary to quarantine regulations, testing regulations on arrival and departure are two things travelers are willing to pay to improve their health during the journey. Globally, 83% of passengers want to be tested upon arrival at the airport, 82% want to be tested before departure.
This rate in other countries was quite high, with Japan 79%, India 98%, Hong Kong 86%. Singapore had 83% of travelers saying airport testing is an important part of the travel experience and more than 1 in 3 Singapore travelers were willing to pay for testing. For China, 90% of travelers wanted to get tested at the airport, and 43% of travelers were willing to pay for this service.
It can be seen that travelers still want certain protocols to ensure their health when traveling after the pandemic, but there needs to be a balance so that travelers are not afraid of booking a trip and create a seamless experience for travelers.
Mental wellbeing is equally important
In addition to physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing is also a great concern of travelers when traveling this time. 73% of global travelers said they would prioritize mental wellbeing when traveling amid Covid, with India up to 85% and Brazil at 90%.
Mental wellbeing is just as important as physical wellbeing, as the proportion of travelers who feel social distancing measures are important was equal to the percentage of those saying they want to access socially distanced spaces in order to “de-stress” and “relax away from the crowds” (87%). Most travelers in the UK, USA, Russia, Australia wanted to go somewhere to relax rather than just get some distance.
Besides, “comfort” is considered the most important factor to create a good experience, after the health factor. 74% of global travelers ranked “comfort” significantly higher than “value of money”. Thereby, many travelers (25%) were willing to pay to use airport lounges.
Although traveling is a way to relax, some people worry that traveling will make them more stressed. For example, 43% of travelers said they felt stressed at least at one point while traveling, and 21% said getting through the airport made them feel panicked or scared. Especially in the context of the pandemic, travelers are more stressed when traveling. Three-quarters of Australian travelers felt more stressed when traveling now than before the pandemic. About 81% of Singaporean travelers also thought post-pandemic travel will be more stressful than before. China was the most optimistic country with 51% of travelers didn’t expect upcoming air travel experiences to be any more stressful than before
As a result, 42% of global travelers appreciated it when providers recommend services that care about travelers’ mental wellbeing during their journeys, such as accessing airport lounges, extra legroom on the plane, airport sleep pods, or experiencing spa treatment, practice mindfulness during travel. That will be an advantage to score travelers and bring experiences that meet their expectations post-pandemic.