Rising to travellers’ expectations for the future of travel

What was once a favourite pastime is now looking very different due to this year’s events of COVID-19. Traveller behaviour has rapidly changed, with many opting to not take a trip at all this year. It has changed our ways of thinking towards travel, leading to historic transformation in organisations and society.

In 2019, the number of passengers boarded by the global airline industry reached over 4.5 billion people. At the beginning of 2020, this all changed. Travel unsurprisingly came to a halt due to coronavirus. The total number of flights began to decline by over 60%, according to Flightradar24 racking statistics. This was due to the nature of the virus, forcing governments to ground planes and stop all unnecessary travel.

Government guidelines progressively relaxed in June, allowing travel and leisure activities to resume and get back to some form of ‘normality’ to revive the economy. However, according to IATA, there wasn’t a significant improvement in passenger demand due to the lockdown and quarantine in some markets  with August’s traffic performance the industry’s worst-ever summer season: August international passenger demand plummeted 88.3% compared to August 2019.”

Rising to traveller’s expectations

Getting on a plane and travelling the world is not top of everyone’s bucket list at this moment in time. People are not travelling like they did before the pandemic. The uncertainty of ‘wave two’ is causing many people to become frustrated and emotionally unsettled for the future. And with markets imposing quarantine rules, it has impacted travellers wanting to go abroad altogether.

Travel is recognised as a sense of escapism – now fraught with concerns that were not always top of mind before: cleaning procedures, hygiene, or what places to visit.
Webhelp’s Travel & Mobility Sector Lead, Nora Boros states from our previous article “No matter what kind of trip is being taken, travel clients go through a myriad of emotions before, during, and after their journey – which will undoubtedly affect their consumer behaviour.”
The first wave of COVID-19 amplified these emotions; undoubtedly affecting consumers behaviours and expectations towards travelling and the industry overall.
Nonetheless, it enables organisations to augment and find alternative ways of transforming their servicing and offer travellers new ways of attaining the pleasure of wanderlust.

Health and safety are at the forefront of travelling now more than ever. Passengers are more inquisitive about hygiene policies and what exactly the process looks like before, during, and after flying – the same goes for domestic travel.

It’s not surprising many people have opted to not travel, go on a staycation, or save their plans for a trip in 2021. A Euronews poll surveyed four European countries – Germany, France, Italy, and Spain to identify travel plans which showed a comparison pre-COVID and now. Respondents from all countries had over a 60% decrease in travelling abroad, an average 50% increase in no travelling while domestic travelling stayed consistent between 24%-40%. A Statista survey showed “one third of respondents in the United Kingdom planned to spend their annual leave on holidays in the UK if travel abroad was still difficult due to lockdown restrictions. Over a quarter of respondents expected to spend more time at home.”

Travel influencing new ways of working

Although spending more time at home allows people to have time with their families and make more time for themselves, many people have had to shift to work from home trying to find and maintain a work-life-balance.

These changes have affected people’s behaviours concerning their place of work, inspiring people to seek alternative travel possibilities such as work from home, but anywhere.

“As we continue to adapt to the new ways of working, our work lives become more flexible”, Nora Boros states in our future of travel blog, “leisure travel will become blended with business needs, giving more consideration than ever to the concept of ‘Bleisure’.”

Introducing hybrid models of flexible working allows colleagues to work from home, the office or anywhere in the world. This could open-up longer trips for travellers who want to stay somewhere with office space, or result in an increase of international mobility for organisations to implement.

Webhelp has used the flexible working approach, Webhelp Anywhere with several clients to ensure the safety of colleagues while positively achieving business continuity. We have supported clients with their digital transformation strategy by identifying quick-wins and sustainable long-term objectives to phase through the crisis and transition into the new normal.

As we continue to phase through these uncertain times, it is an opportunity to invest in digital and operational transformation capabilities and become a differentiator in the market, as this will play a key role in helping travellers feel safe in their future travels.

Interested to learn more about these changes and travellers’ expectations for the future?

Sign up to our webinar where we will discuss how businesses can rethink their customer experience strategy and operational/digital transformation.

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Webhelp desemnat Lider CXM de către Everest Group pentru a doua oară în 2020

După ce am fost desemnaţi Lider Global în Managementul Experienței Clienților (CXM) de către Everest Group, acum suntem din nou recunoscuți drept lideri în CXM, în EMEA Services PEAK Matrix® Assessment 2020, pozitionându-ne în topul clasamentului din punct de vedere al viziunii și expertizei.

Acest raport este o apreciere obiectivă a succesului strategiei noastre de dezvoltare și a abordării noastre unice, 360 de grade, despre care Skand Bhargava, vicepreședinte Everest Group, afirmă:

 „Webhelp este un furnizor CXM de top la nivel global, mai ales în Europa, susținut de o echipă multilingvă de peste 60.000 de angajaţi. Punând accentul pe transformarea digitală, consultanță CX și gestionarea parcursului client, Webhelp a reușit să se dezvolte exponențial în ultimii ani „

Skand Bhargava continua: „În plus, expertiza sa temeinică digitală și de industrie, abordarea axată pe rezultate și leadershipul solid i-au permis să traverseze cu rezilienţă incertitudinile create de pandemia COVID-19 și să își continue dezvoltarea.” Acest rezultat se bazează pe istoricul nostru solid în clasamentele și evaluările analiștilor, și pe desemnarea, pentru al doilea an, ca lider în PEAK Matrix, Everest Grup subliniând în mod deosebit acoperirea noastră puternică a domeniilor majore din industrie, amprenta noastră geografică și calitatea serviciilor livrate către clienți.

Grupul Everest consideră Lideri acele companii care furnizează servicii de gestionare a experienței client (CXM) calitative prin expansiunea în noi regiuni, deservind clienţi de diferite dimensiuni și având scoruri ridicate de satisfacție datorită capacităților tehnologice şi digitale avansate.
Pentru această ediție EMEA, Grupul Everest a selectat 21 de organizații pentru a le evalua și a le compara pentru raportul lor din 2020, ţinând cont de succesul pe piață, viziunea și strategia furnizorului de servicii, focusul și expertiza serviciilor, soluțiile digitale și tehnologice, investițiile în domeniu și feedback-ul clienţilor.