According to Booking, the recovery will occur unevenly in different markets
This was stated in an exclusive interview by its Communication Manager for Latin America Luiz Cegato
At a time when tourism is beginning to revive in various countries of the Americas, we have consulted Booking to find out its news and have its vision of the mediate future. Below we share the responses of Luiz Cegato, Communication Manager for Latin America at the OTA.
What have been the effects of the health crisis on Booking?
The impact of the pandemic on the travel industry is truly significant. While this crisis will come to an end and people will gradually return to travel, it will take some time for pre-COVID travel levels to recover.
We also know that the recovery will occur unevenly in the different markets, depending on the policies of each government. With countries at different stages of the pandemic, it is difficult to predict exactly where and when travel will return, but we believe that when travel restrictions begin to be released, people will initially choose to stay closer to home and start to make trips to domestic destinations. New data from Booking.com revealed that globally, in March and April 2020, domestic destinations represented 51% of the aggregates in the wish lists made by travelers on our platform, while this figure in 2019 was 33%.
What initiatives are you implementing to mitigate these effects?
At the accommodation level, flexible policies become even more important as travelers begin to explore travel options. We believe it will be important for accommodation providers to adopt flexible cancellation policies, for example, and clearly communicate them to guests to help them feel comfortable making reservations. In addition, from Booking.com we continue to work with our partners so that they can provide greater transparency around the cleaning and hygiene information of their accommodation, showing the measures adopted in the advertisements of their property on our website and application in order to provide Additional peace of mind for future guests.
What is your vision on the Latin American markets between now and the end of the year?
There was a growth in the desire of Argentines to travel locally. Those wishes grew compared to 2019. Last year 30% of Argentines wanted to visit local destinations and 70% wanted hospitalizations. While this year the values of the wishes of the Argentines began to change and within their travel wish lists, local destinations represent 45% and international destinations 55%.
If we compare it with other countries in the region, Argentines are the only ones who think more internationally than locally when expressing their travel wishes. While Brazilians stand out for their strong predilection for wanting to travel to domestic destinations (82%), followed by Mexicans (76%) and Colombians (69%).