New research suggests that three in ten of Britons (29%) will change their holiday travel habits as a result of Covid-19, citing concerns over mass transport and crowds, along with health and hygiene standards. With British holidaymakers in the middle of their traditional annual summer break, the research suggests that more reassurance around international travel is necessary and that lockdown relaxation and travel corridors offer insufficient confidence to get people travelling again, risking further damage to an already beleaguered travel industry.
Commissioned by award winning Private Jet Charter Company 365 Aviation, the survey of over 1,000 adults backs up their belief that “Controlled Environment Travel” – travelling and remaining in a secure, controlled bubble whilst away – will encourage people to take foreign holidays once again. Of those surveyed, 47% indicated their preferred accommodation would be a private villa, chalet or self-catered home, although 42% said they would still feel comfortable staying in a hotel.
Crowds (53%), hygiene (51%) and safety (45%) were the main concerns of those surveyed. A quarter (25%) were worried about being in an airport environment whilst 28% were worried about new health screening requirements. Others cited fears over travel insurance cover as well as worries about flouting of social distance regulations.
People are most nervous about travelling by bus (48%), train (48%) and commercial flights (46%), with ferries and cruise ships (40%) and public taxis/uber (38%) not far behind. By contrast, only 15% of people are nervous about using private jets or yachts. Driving their own private vehicles (9%) was the only safer way to travel according to the respondents.
In an indication that Brits will travel less, but take bigger, more meaningful trips in the future (32%), one third (33%) want to travel to tick off bucket list destinations once restrictions lift. Over 40% of 16-24 year olds want to travel to help people as a way to give back demonstrating awareness of the impact of tourism by Millennials and Gen-Z.
Of those surveyed*, 64% anticipate taking their first holiday after lockdown with family whilst 44% of 16-24 year olds expect to travel with friends. Nearly twice as many men as women plan to travel alone (19% vs. 10%).
Commenting on the research, 365 Aviation Executive Chairman Colin Baker, says, “This research supports our belief that Controlled Environment Travel will become a trend in the months and years ahead. As the world began to lock down we experienced our biggest ever surge in enquiries. More than half of those clients had never flown privately before but were drawn to the control they could exercise over safety and health procedures, along with avoiding the high number of touch points at major commercial airport hubs. We expect to see increased use of private air travel as clients will be willing to allocate a higher proportion of their budget to an aircraft shared only with those they are holidaying with. This new breed of client is more cost conscious, but when, for example, a one-way flight from the UK to Nice can cost less than £1,000 per person based on filling an 8 seat Citation XLS+, with a generous luggage allowance and a check-in time of just 20 minutes, more people who had never previously considered it as an option are realising that it is in fact within their grasp.”
Luxury travel expert and founder of Pelorus experience travel, Jimmy Carroll, adds, “There is a desire to travel after the restrictions of the past few months. We’ve seen an increase in clients wanting to travel to remote and private destinations where they can control the numbers of people with whom they have contact. This makes travel by private jet or helicopter appealing to the affluent traveller who is eager to avoid airports and crowds, not to mention time delays. We’ve had a lot of enquiries from clients wanting to stay on private or small islands and in villas. We have also appointed Dr. Helen Evans – a respected Consultant Infection Prevention and Control Nurse – as a Consultant Infection Prevention & Control Advisor to ensure that we are fully abreast of any developing situations. Travel will bounce back, but family health and safety is top of our clients’ priorities.”
The research of 1,000 British adults was carried out by Censuswide in July 2020.