More than a third of airline and travel agency leaders believe travel will return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024 while a further third believe this will happen in 2025 or beyond.
A Sabre study, based on the views and experiences of more than 500 decision-makers in both sectors, indicate that ‘revenge travel’ – with the objective of making up for lost time – is a meaningful phenomenon, with 68% of travel leaders forecasting a higher spend from consumers on their future travel plans.
Sabre’s study ‘Mapping Travel’s New Normal’ also found:
- Travel leaders report that travellers are considering more decision factors than ever before committing to a trip
- 82% of airlines executives expect the combination of business and leisure to be even more prominent post-recovery
- More than half of agencies are spending more time now looking into new tools, services and technologies
- 96% of airlines expect enhanced possibilities to offer growth opportunities and improved customer service and satisfaction scores.
Other key trends identified by agencies include the importance of organised and connected trips to cut through travel complexities for customers, the ongoing prominence of domestic and regional travel, and the challenges (and opportunities) for business travel recovery.
For airlines, major trends include increasing consumer bookings protection, the growth of ‘bleisure’ as a catalyst for potential corporate travel recovery, and offering more sustainable flight options to meet customer demands.
“Our latest Sabre research has highlighted a degree of optimism across the travel ecosystem,” added Andy Finkelstein, Senior Vice President, Global Agency Sales and Corporate Solutions.
“However, it also suggested that not all travel leaders may be ready for these potential changes if they happen quickly. The survey indicates that there is a clear need for agility, transformation and collaboration so that travel agencies, airlines and other industry players can ensure they are in a position to identify these changes, strategise for future growth opportunities and improve the experience for the traveller.”