New Delhi: According to a new global study on travel in the COVID-stuck world, India and Thailand have the most citizens confident of travelling in the "new normal", with a score of 76. It also reveals that Asian countries like India, Thailand, China, Indonesia, and Singapore are more eager than their Western counterparts when it comes to resuming travel.
Conducted by Blackbox Research, Dynata, and Language Connect, the research 'Unravel Travel: Fear and Possibilities in a Post Coronavirus (COVID-19) World' examined the sentiments, preferences, and expectations of 10,195 people across 17 countries regarding travel in the post-pandemic world.
For the study, countries were measured on a Travel Confidence Score, by considering - how comfortable a person is to travel internationally in the next 12 months, and how well prepared they feel about their country reopening its tourism and leisure activities.
Asian countries dominated the list of countries that scored above the global average of 61, including China (69), Indonesia (65), and Singapore (64). France, Germany, and Denmark also rated above the global average.
At the other end of the spectrum, Japan rated the most cautious with a score of 40, followed by the Philippines (43) and Hong Kong (50). Other countries that scored below the global average included Sweden, New Zealand, UK, Canada, and USA.
Saurabh Sardana, CEO of Blackbox Research, says: "The scores revealed that a number of countries have had their confidence towards travelling severely battered, which can be attributed to the negative reporting on COVID-19 cases. For them, sustained control in COVID-19 numbers domestically and globally is needed before they begin revisiting international travel as a lifestyle priority.
"Meanwhile, with a significant part of Asia having experienced similar epidemics, it is not surprising that Asian travellers would be more resilient and optimistic about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Despite countries like India and Indonesia recently seeing a higher number of cases, their reputations as tourism powerhouses means it will be hard for them to neglect the travel industry in the long term.
In the short-term, international leisure travel also seems to be off the table for most people, with 44 per cent of respondents still keen to avoid international vacations. Notably, Japanese, Filipinos, New Zealanders and Australians are least eager for long-haul trips.
Australia and Japan emerged as the two most popular destinations for Asian travellers, while China, Italy, and the US are the countries whose tourism appeal took the biggest hit during the pandemic.
What does the future of travel look like? The study found that e-boarding passes, touchless lavatories, contactless journeys from airports to hotels, no more middle seats in transportation, and digital health passports are some of the new ideas which global travellers hope to see implemented soon.
"Governments will need to play a key role in messaging and ensuring travellers' safety, as well as empowering the tourism industry through investment in new technology and innovation that would ensure a seamless, contactless travel experience that is sustainable. The first movers will cash in on the pent-up demand as borders open," Sardana signs off.