New study identifies prominent shifts in travel
The report published by Saber highlights the different areas of focus for airlines and travel agents
Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), a leading provider of software and technology powering the global travel industry, today released a new global travel industry study, “Mapping Travel's New Normal,” which identifies prominent shifts in travel.
The extensive study highlights the different areas of focus for airlines and agencies, as both sectors look to capture opportunities for recovery and future growth. Commissioned by Saber and conducted by Munich-based management consultancy Dr. Fried & Partners, the study included quantitative and qualitative research with more than 500 airline and travel agency decision-makers. Participants were surveyed in eight languages across 20 countries across EMEA, APAC and the Americas, along with in-depth interviews with select industry leaders.
Participants were asked about the impact of the pandemic on their customers and their businesses, as well as the implications for the future of the travel industry. Key findings cover the differing priorities of airlines and agencies as both sectors prepare to address potential recovery opportunities and create new growth opportunities, as well as differences in technology investment priorities across regions globally. . Findings include:
- More than a third of airline and agency leaders who participated in the survey indicated they believe travel will return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024; another third responded that they believe this will happen in 2025 or beyond;
- Survey results indicate that "revenge trips," aimed at making up for lost time, are a significant phenomenon, with 68% of leaders surveyed responding that they are forecasting higher consumer spending on their plans. future travel;
- Travel industry leaders report that travelers are considering more decision factors than ever before to commit to a trip;
- 82% of airline executives surveyed responded that they expect the mix of business and leisure to be even more prominent after the recovery;
- More than half of the agencies surveyed responded that they are now spending more time looking for new tools, services and technologies; this is a particular area of focus in APAC, for 71% of responding agencies;
- 92% of travel agencies surveyed indicated that they want the support of travel technology partners to create a more seamless experience in terms of purchases, reservations and issuance, while 89% responded that they want useful tools to personalize trips ;
- 96% of the airlines surveyed responded that they expect greater possibilities to offer growth opportunities and better customer service and satisfaction scores.
“One thing that stood out to us as we conducted our research was the unprecedented pace of change in recent months,” said Darren Rickey, Senior Vice President, Global Airline Sales and Accounts, Sabre. “This, of course, presents a huge opportunity, but it also puts pressure on travel companies to adapt their plans, processes and operations to address these potential changes."
Key trends identified by agencies surveyed in the new Sabre-Dr. Fried research include the importance of organized and connected travel in reducing complexities for clients; the continued prominence of domestic and regional travel and the challenges (and opportunities) for the recovery of business travel. Meanwhile, for the airlines that participated in the survey, the main trends identified include increased protection of consumer reservations; the growth of "bleisure" as a catalyst for the possible recovery of corporate travel and offer more sustainable flight options to meet customer demands. Mirroring the agency responses,
“Our latest Saber research has highlighted a degree of optimism across the travel ecosystem,” added Andy Finkelstein, Senior Vice President of Global Agency Sales and Corporate Solutions. “However, it also suggested that not all industry leaders travel industry may be ready for these potential changes if they happen quickly. The survey indicates that there is a clear need for agility, transformation and collaboration for travel agencies, airlines and other industry players to ensure they are in a position to identify these changes, strategize for future growth opportunities and improve the traveler experience.