The pent-up desire to travel has not faded a year into the pandemic, with a recent global survey conducted by IHG Hotels & Resorts revealing that one in three workers are demotivated by the lack of business travel, while time with family and friends will be a primary push to fly in 2021.
The survey, which polled 6,000 people in the US, the UK, and Australia in January, revealed a desire for human connection, since more than half (51%) of respondents said business travel allows them to “create meaningful relationships with colleagues, customers, and/or clients".
While on the road, the Americans picked travelling with loved ones, having quality time with them and creating new memories as the top impactors on their moods; for Australians it was sightseeing; while for the English it was all about missing the chase for sunshine. One in four travellers say a trip with family tops their wish list for 2021.
In particular, younger travellers aged 18 to 24 are five times more likely to put volunteering for a community in need as a primary motivator for travel. Consistent with findings from other youth-focused studies, one in five people in this age group hopes to travel to a place on their bucket list this year.
Meanwhile, the slightly older of respondents aged 45 and up had one in four saying that cabin fever has robbed romance, since they looked forward to intimacy while on vacation.
Being stuck working from home and not being able to fly for work has caused nearly 45% to realise that these business trips in fact improves their mood, motivates them, and 32% even indicating that they work smarter.
A major aspect of the travel life involves accommodation, with one in three respondents in IHG's poll saying they missed "sleeping in a comfy hotel bed” most, and one in four indicating “room service" as the hotel service they missed. One in three also said going to restaurants and trying new foods had the most positive impact on their holidays.
Of those surveyed, 25% usually travel for business one to four times a year. The pandemic caused close to 60% of respondents to cancel up to four trips – both leisure and business — in 2020, and as vaccine news continue to bring hope, more than half of travellers in the poll have already rebooked cancelled trips or plan to rebook them.
"It’s often said that travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer, and our survey results prove that people are hungry for those rich experiences again," said Rajit Sukumaran, managing director, Southeast Asia and Korea, IHG Hotels & Resorts.
"But the world has changed, and travel decisions must be made more thoughtfully. As we look ahead, we’ve all had a lot of time to think about what travel means to us, what trips are most important, and how we want to reconnect."