The Drum interviews Arjan Dijk, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Booking.com, the leading online travel brand, on the evolving playbook for travel markets across the globe, the role that marketing will play in the reboot and the trends being seen in two of the largest markets: India and China.
On the future of travel and the travelling consumer
The pandemic has brought international travel to a standstill as countries tightened travel restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. A full recovery for the travel industry will take years, not quarters and when we do emerge from this global pandemic, the world and our industry will undoubtedly be different. The good thing is that travel will remain fundamental to people’s lives.
The financial legacy of Coronavirus is such that it will inevitably see people demand more bang-for-their-buck from the travel industry. The new narrative will have to be around deeper value, better choice, increased flexibility and transparency as well as more thoughtful experiences for tomorrow’s travellers as they scrutinize spend in 2021 and beyond.
On the APAC recovery roadmap
The travel brand launched its recent data-driven campaign called ‘Back to Travel’ that is backed by global insights from research (consumers and industry partners) to explore how hope is on the horizon and how travellers and the industry are getting ready to get back to travel.
Even as India gets on a recovery path after being ravaged by a cruel second wave of the pandemic, the hunger for travel amongst the population remains unabated even though all inter border travel has been brought to a grinding halt, in the short term at least.
Three in four (75%) Chinese travellers feel more hopeful about travelling in 2021. About the same amount (73%) state that not being able to travel extensively in 2020 has made them yearn for travel ever more in 2021.
72% of Chinese travellers state that they won’t travel internationally until they have been vaccinated, rising to 76% for those aged 55+. 67% will only travel to countries that have implemented vaccination programs. However, half of the travellers (50%) remain sceptical if a vaccine will truly help make travel safer.
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