Indians are most confident about resuming air travel, says travel survey


Indians are the most confident in the world about resuming international travel once they are allowed to do so, according a travel survey. They also top the list of people most eager to travel internationally in the next 12 months with 77% saying they are keen to travel, followed by Thais at 70% and Indonesians at 60%, said news agency ANI, quoting the new survey.

Singapore is the most favoured destination for people living in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong and the Philippines when it comes to post-lockdown travel, said the newly released study conducted jointly by social research agency Blackbox Research, data provider Dynata and language partner Language Connect.

The study examined the sentiments, preferences and expectations of 10,195 people across 17 countries regarding travel in a post-COVID-19 world, ANI has reported.

When travel can resume under a ‘new normal’ travel framework, the study found that with a score of 76, India and Thailand are tied for top position for nationalities most confident of travelling. Asian countries dominate the list of nations that scored above the global average of 61, including China (69), Indonesia (65), Singapore (64). France and Germany also rated above the global average.

At the other end of the spectrum, Japan was 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 include Sweden, New Zealand, UK, Canada and the United States.

Saurabh Sardana, Chief Operating Office of Blackbox Research, said that each country’s score reflects a balancing act between a number of considerations — the perceived importance of tourism to the country’s economy, national management of COVID-19 cases and even past experiences of similar epidemics. Notably, New Zealand’s low case achievement has led to the country’s more cautious attitude towards international travel, ANI stated in its report.

Geneva-based International Air Transport Association (IATA) does not expect air travel to be restored to 2019 levels until 2024. Although there are hints of a gradual and cautious resumption of travel, confidence is low. A majority of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) panel of tourism experts expect international tourism will only recover in the second half of 2021.

In another finding, the study showed that contactless travel is something travellers would expect once they can resume travelling. About 76% of respondents indicated that their preferred destinations would be countries that offer more reliable contactless experiences. In terms of what the future of travel looks like, the study found that e-boarding passes (41%), touchless lavatories (43%), contactless journeys between airports and hotels (40%), no more middle seats in transportation (36%) and digital health passports (35%) are some of the new ideas that global travellers hope to see implemented in the near future.

“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,” Sardana added. “The first movers will cash in on the pent-up demand as borders open.”