When consumers around the world are planning to travel again, a new survey of 10 countries found that the industry must regain their confidence by addressing issues related to pricing, health and safety and transparency and communication about their personal data usage. Travelport has formed a commission to study 11,000 travelers in consultation with Edelman, which has been analyzing consumer confidence through its Edelman Trust barometer since 2000.
“It’s a one-time opportunity to reset.” You don’t get a lot of people who are with consumers, so it’s important that we take lessons from this study and apply them to speedy recovery,” said Jane Cato, Chief Marketing Officer at Travelport. Cato says the results show that consumers have set some expectations around online shopping, driven by brands like Amazon, and they believe the travel industry – both companies and suppliers – can do more to create a credible e-commerce experience.
“What we’ve learned from the study is that customers are being trained in the way they’re accustomed to – through personalization, through the proper use of data to create relevance, through convenience and price transparency – all of which you carry in your travels. Bought from that, and I think our industry has been slow to adapt to it. Respondents identify the top two reasons for relying on their travel agencies as “no hidden cost” (55%) and “completely flexible or refundable product” (45%) in the shopping process.
However, when they choose these as the most important reason, most respondents indicate that they do not believe that these industries succeed in any of these expectations. “The importance of price transparency cannot be overstated,” said Greg Webb, chief executive of Travelport. “The whole 16% is more effective on trust than the long-term safety record of an airline that has no hidden costs. The request from the customers here is clear; the time has come to refund confidential fees and improve overall transparency in pricing and communication.”
Surveys have also shown that consumers are wary of travel information sources, with the most trusted source being friends and family (67%) and the least trusted influential (30%) and celebrities (25%).