Travelers call for change as tourism recovers from pandemic and faces uncertainty: Exploring the future of tourism

  • 44% of the population wants new rules and technology to make travel easier, a YouGov survey found in 11 countries.
  • 34% want greener travel, and 29% want the planet and health to be more important than profit.
  • With economic uncertainty, 42% of people are still planning an international vacation in the next 6 months.
  • 64% do not plan to travel on business, reflecting fears of a global slowdown

Travelers want the global travel sector to learn from the pandemic and change for the better, a new global survey has shown.

The Future of Tourism survey explored consumer attitudes and expectations in 11 countries around the world. It was found that:

  • 44% of respondents called for greater harmonization of medical protocols and the use of technology to ensure smooth movement.
  • 34% would like to see more sustainability at the heart of tourism.
  • 29% wanted health and sustainability to be more important than profit for the tourism sector.
  • 33% called for more financial protection for travelers, likely in response to the experience of the pandemic.

People from China, India and South Korea were most in favor of greater harmonization of security protocols and the use of technology to make travel easier.

Commissioned by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Tourism, YouGov polled nearly 14,000 people in China, the US, the UK, Germany, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, South Korea, Spain and Sweden.

This was stated by the Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, His Excellency Ahmed Al Khatib.: “The pandemic has had a profound impact on the global tourism sector. She has shown us all—travelers, tourists, businesses, and governments—that we can do things differently.

“The survey on the future of tourism shows that the public wants us to learn from the pandemic and make changes that put health, sustainability and better use of technology at the heart of the future of tourism.”

The survey found that traveler attitudes have changed after two years of the pandemic and restrictions that have limited travel. 55% of respondents are now more likely to travel within the country. And 32% of people are more willing to travel internationally than before COVID.

Economic uncertainty and rising prices dampened enthusiasm for travel over the next 6 months. Overall, 42% of people are either likely or very likely to go abroad on holiday, compared to 39% who are either unlikely or very unlikely to do so.

However, it has had the biggest impact on business travel. Only 18% of respondents believe that they are likely, or very likely, to travel abroad on business.

The Chinese, Japanese and Americans were the least optimistic about the prospects for international travel. In contrast, the British, Indians and Saudis thought they were the most likely to travel overseas in the next 6 months.

The study “The Future of Tourism” was published ahead of the 116th meeting of the Executive Board of the UN World Tourism Council.

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