Clients of Aito agencies and tour operators are “resilient” and want to resume travelling when they can, according to major research of more than 35,000 consumers.
Roy Barker, founder of research firm Spike Insights, said the study showed “what a resilient market the Aito market is”.
Data showed that 15% of Aito customers would travel “as soon as I can do it”, while another 65% said they would go on holiday “once I feel the time is right”.
“They are not looking for permission – they will make their own decisions about when to travel again,” added Barker during Aito’s Kickstart 2021 online conference.
Further encouragement was also provided by the fact that nearly 70% of Aito customers thought their financial position would either stay the same or improve after the pandemic.
“It’s massively skewed towards those who want to get out there and do it again,” added Barker. “Generally people were open to accepting that things might be more expensive.”
Sandra Corkin, owner of Oasis Travel in Northern Ireland, agreed that clients wanted to resume travelling “as soon as they possibly can”.
“I think they are frightened and confused and want to have the vaccine before they travel,” she added. “They want to make sure they can enjoy their holiday.”
Barker added that in the short-term UK holidays would be popular followed by a recovery in short-haul breaks, with long-haul “behind that”.
“UK operators have seen unprecedented demand and they’re still seeing it coming through for this year,” he said. “There’s evidence of pent-up demand but it’s baby steps.
“People have put off plans for big trips and they will want to do this as soon as they can.”