Jeddah Corniche, Saudi Arabia. (photo via Matthew Starling / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
New research from YouGov found that travelers are looking for changes.
The Future of Tourism Survey polled travelers from 11 countries around the world and revealed that travelers want to see positive changes to the travel industry following the pandemic.
The research found that 44 percent of respondents want greater harmonization of health protocols and the use of technology to enable seamless travel.
Thirty-four percent would like greater sustainability at the heart of tourism, and 29 percent want health and sustainability prioritized over profits within the travel sector.
Thirty-three percent also want greater financial protections for travelers.
“The pandemic has a profound impact on the global tourism sector. It has shown us all – travelers, tourists, businesses and governments, that we can do things differently,” said Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia. “The Future of Tourism Survey shows that the public want us to learn the lessons of the pandemic and to make changes that put health, sustainability, and the better use of technology, at the heart of future tourism.”
Travel behavior has also changed as a result of the pandemic. Fifty-five percent of respondents are now more likely to travel domestically, according to the survey. Thirty-two percent of people are more willing to make an international trip than they were before COVID.
Inflation is having an effect on the travel industry globally, not just in the U.S. Forty-two percent of people are either likely or very likely to travel internationally for a holiday, compared with 39 percent who are either unlikely or very unlikely to do so.
Business travel is still struggling. Just 18 percent of respondents consider themselves likely or very likely to travel internationally for business.
The data from the Future of Tourism Survey was released in advance of the 116th meeting of the Executive Council of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), which will take place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia June 7-8, 2022, hosted by the Saudi Ministry of Tourism.
“Saudi Arabia is a brand-new tourism destination,” said Al Khateeb. “We opened our doors to international tourism just before the pandemic, and because of that we are willing and able to think and act in new and different ways.”
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