What are the Romanians’ travel plans for 2021?

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According to the study „Romanians’ holidays – the travel plans for 2021” conducted by WENS Travel, 76% of the respondents admit that they would travel in a foreign country in the near future. The remaining 24% are still doubtful and would choose a destination within our country, despite travel conditions becoming less restrictive.

2020 and the first half of 2021 have interrupted many Romanians’ travel plans. 53% of the respondents have postponed or even cancelled their trips. The quarantine measures (72%) from the destination or upon their return were cited as being the main concern for doing so. Other reasons were the risk of getting sick (57%), the difficult and uncertain travel conditions (56%), followed by the risk of endangering family members (49%).

Moreover, the study shows that 17% of the travelers have not found better alternatives to their initial plans. However, 44% of the people that have still traveled have been able to fulfill their holiday plans by choosing an option within Romania.

„We are happy to see at this moment an increase in travelers’ requests for holidays. It’s our greatest pleasure to help plan and support our clients who have had to cancel or postpone their trips due to the pandemic and are now thinking it’s safe to travel again. To this end, closer destinations are preferred, such as Bulgaria, Egypt, Turkey or Greece, as opposed to farther and more exotic places,” says Mihaela Călușer, CEO WENS Travel.

Tourists are slowly going back to their habits

Despite all, the pandemic has not changed travelers’ behaviour to big extents. 61% of them would still choose a short flight as means of transportation for their next trip, while 31% would even go on a long haul trip. Car trips (52%) are not to be excluded of course, as Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia are easily accessible by car and are sought after summer destinations.

Hotel accommodations are preferred by the majority of the respondents (70%), followed by 15% that would choose an individual housing option. Holiday accommodations or cottages are only an option for 13% of the people. This is a testament that tourists’ trust in hygiene standards and safety measures taken by hoteliers and airlines has not been shaken.

What has changed in the way people travel

In previous years the price dominated mostly all decisions related to travel and it was the differentiator between 2 similar products from different suppliers. This year, 84% of the respondents cite flexible travel conditions that include canceling and/or refund options as the main driver when deciding to travel, considering the volatile conditions tourism has been through. Insurance services are also sought after when deciding which holiday package to go for and the willingness to spend money for it has increased. 55% would not travel without a cancellation insurance that would refund the trip’s cost in case they would get sick with COVID and 45% want a travel insurance that would cover the case of COVID disease. Vaccination measures occupy the fourth place when deciding about traveling (44%).

Travel agencies in the minds of the consumer

The good news for travel agencies is that their role in the planning of a holiday is much appreciated, considering that 81% would seek a travel professional’s advice. After almost a year and a half of losses and inactivity, the light does flicker at the end of the tunnel.

The reasons for choosing a travel agency are the professional advice (mentioned by 37% of the respondents), the safety of having a trusted partner for help (31%) and possible flexible travel conditions (26%). The most important advantages as seen by clients are the diversity of offers (68%), the quality of the information (58%), the price-quality ratio (50%) and the 24/7 customer service (41%), followed by quick response times (32%).

„Travel agencies have always had an important, but many times undervalued role in the planning of both leisure and business travels. I am glad that our professionalism and the one of our colleagues in the industry, as well as the external communication shows that we are a trusted partner and that we value and support the investments our customers make. We strive to offer them unforgettable travel experiences,” says Cristina Mureșan, Marketing Supervisor WENS Travel.

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