The latest edition of the Fuel Customer Sentiment Study (Volume 12) dives in to when customers are going to be ready to travel, what it will take for hotels to win over guests, and how vaccines will impact travel. You can see the full results of the study here.
In today’s episode we’re going to hit the highlights and most surprising findings. Spoiler alert: Get ready for a booming spring and summer.
1: Which best describes you regarding COVID vaccination?
- Nearly 70% of respondents have either gotten a vaccine or in the process of getting vaccinated.
2: What is the first word that you think of when considering travel right now?
- Safety is still paramount to travelers.
- Those not getting a vaccine are all about “fun.”
3: Have you traveled since March 15, 2020?
- 56% of respondents have traveled since COVID was declared a pandemic.
4: How many trips have you taken since March 15, 2020?
- Of those who traveled, nearly 70% have traveled at least twice since the pandemic began.
5: When will you likely begin planning your next trip?
- 40% responded that they are planning their trips right NOW with another 32% are going to start their planning within two months.
6: When will you likely book your next trip?
- 39% are in the process of booking their trip now.
7: When will you likely travel for your next trip?
- Answers were quite diverse, with May and June being most popular, and comprising nearly 40% of responses.
8: In 2021, do you expect your travel budget to increase, decrease, or remain the same as it was in 2019?
- 33% of your guests are going to be spending more in 2021
9: Do you expect to take more, fewer, or the same number of trips than you took in 2019?
- The audience was split on this with approximately 1/3 answering for each.
10: In 2021, do you expect to take more, fewer, or the same number of total vacation days than you took in 2019?
- 45% of respondents say their vacation days will remain the same while 33% are going to be taking more days.
11: On a scale of 0-5 how likely will the following vaccination scenarios increase your likely hood of booking a vacation within six months?
- Once you have been vaccinated
- Once all “at risk” people have been vaccinated
- Once at least 80% of the population has been vaccinated
- More than 60% of respondents in all 3 categories said that a vaccine would increase their likelihood of booking a vacation. Those who said being vaccinated, themselves, would have no impact was equal to those who voted that it would dramatically increase their likelihood to book.
12: Pick the top 3 reasons that would prevent you from staying at a hotel right now
- “Nothing is preventing me” is finally at the top spot at 44% of all respondents
13: How likely are you to book a trip (time range)?
- 67% responded “maybe” or higher within the next 30 days
14: How soon will you be willing to make the following trips (drive or fly)?
- Those willing to drive up to an hour away within the next month is at 71%, 2 hours is 59% and 3 hours is 48%.
- Flying is still limited at just 21%, however this is up from 9% a year ago
15: Which of the following would most likely persuade yo to book a future vacation?
- Flexibility and the ability to cancel without penalty is the clear winner at 72%. Discounts on a stay came in at 65%.
16: How would the following hotel protocols increase your confidence in staying at a property?
- Deep cleaning between guests, and placing the sanitized remote in a sealed bag had the biggest impact, with 63% saying deep cleaning would greatly impact confidence, and 46% for the remote.
17: I would like to hear from hotels on the following topics…
- Packages and specials are now back at the top of traveler interest. This is a first since volume 3 of the study on 4/30/20/
18: The next time you travel, which of the following would you want the property to communicate to you prior to your stay?
- Local mask requirements remain a critical communication point prior to a visit, followed closely by the status of local restaurants.
19: complete the following sentence: I will travel when…
- Travelers are getting more and more comfortable traveling. The phrase “feel safe” has taken the top spot.
In conclusion, people are traveling and now is the time to engage and court your guests to pick your property for their next stay. Need more tools and tips for managing a hotel in a time of crisis?
In The Newsaroos:
- Nothing this week… Tune in next week for more
Stat Of The Week:
In 2019, US hotel RevPAR (Revenue per Available Room) was $95.22 (+7% YoY) – the highest for that week on record. Last year, it hit the lowest for any week as far back as I can remember – $15.22 (-84% YoY)!