By Bev Fearis, published 12/08/20
A survey of international frequent travellers has found two-thirds would be ‘somewhat’ or ‘very confident’ about staying overnight in London or Edinburgh for business travel without a proven Covid-19 vaccine.
The Cheval Collection research found 61-63% of respondents would visit the cities for meetings or to attend conferences.
The research also showed a marked preference for serviced apartment accommodation, with 70% saying they’d prefer to stay in an apartment in London or Edinburgh for business and leisure rather than 60% who rated hotels first.
When broken down by age profile, those aged 55-plus were significantly less likely to feel confident about leisure travel to London, with only 55% saying they were ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ confident to do so. Confidence levels were much higher in the 18-34 age bracket, at 73%.
The Cheval Collection research also tracked confidence levels around flying without a proven Covid-19 vaccine.
While two-thirds (64%) said they would be very or somewhat likely to take a short-haul flight, only a quarter (23%) said they would be likely to take a flight of four hours or more.
Travellers wanted airlines and hotels to reassure them with enhanced cleaning, provision of hand sanitisers and clear social distancing guidelines.
Eight out of 10 also wanted to see mandatory facemask use on airlines and three quarters were interested in keyless or mobile check-in from accommodation providers.
George Westwell, CEO Cheval Residences, said: “Our 2020 business research shows both the opportunity and the challenge ahead for hospitality.
“It was interesting to see people have the same attitude whether they were considering business or leisure travel, but it’s worth noting broadly a third of the audience we talked to expressed concern about travelling and so it’s very clear that hospitality and airline brands need to reassure travellers very clearly on all the initiatives taken to keep them safe.”
The survey was carried out in July among 1,876 frequent travellers, of whom 81% were from the UK, 7% from the US and 12% from other markets including Australia, Canada, the Gulf States and continental Europe.
Respondents represented multiple professions including healthcare and medical (11%), education (10%), government public sector (8%), finance and technology (8%) and banking and finance (6%).