The rollout of a Covid-19 vaccine has done more to boost consumers’ confidence to travel than efforts to reduce the length of any return quarantine requirement, a new survey has revealed.
Skyscanner’s data showed that while more than a third of British consumers want to travel overseas in the next six months, only a third of these people said they would be swayed by the prospect of a shorter period of self-isolation upon return – such as that offered by the government’s new test to release scheme, which came into effect on Tuesday (15 December).
However, more than 40% of the 2,152 respondents to the poll, conducted by AudienceNet in late November, said the rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine had made them feel more confident about travelling abroad by the summer.
Skyscanner search data, meanwhile, shows a 62% spike in searches for travel between December and February, and 70% for Spain, since the test to release announcement on 24 November.
The firm said this suggested that while both shorter quarantines and the prospect of a vaccine were a step in the right direction, more would need to be done to "re-energise" travel and tourism.
“Our survey’s findings clearly show the vast majority of travellers are feeling overwhelmed," said Martin Nolan, Skyscanner head of regulatory affairs. "The varying restrictions and the numerous requirements around international travel can be confusing to travellers who are planning and booking trips.
“Travel is global and interconnected, so we need to see coordination at an international level with consistent measures which put the traveller first. We are focused on providing travellers with the information and tools they need to help navigate the current complex landscape.
“As we look towards the new year, we would welcome more harmonisation across the industry, with international governments and regulatory bodies focused on making the journey for travellers smoother.”
Among those with overseas travel plans, more than three-quarters (77%) said the complexities required to understand their current travel options were dissuading them.
Nearly half of respondents (45%) said mandatory mask-wearing would encourage them to travel with specific carriers, with the same percentage looking to improved cleaning processes for the same reassurance. Some 43% said negative Covid tests within 72 hours of travel was the most important factor.
Prompted on potentially immediate travel, 15% of respondents said they would consider travelling abroad in December, although fewer than half of those who responded positively (45%) said they had a firm destination in mind.