Kiwi.com Research by STEM/MARK: Czech Covid-19 travel experience
Travel restrictions, canceled flights, and mandatory Covid-19 tests: Nearly half of Czechs had to completely drop their travel plans this year, however a third of Czechs would travel immediately if they could.
Research by Kiwi.com and STEM/MARK research agency shows that the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected the travel plans of Czechs, with almost half having to cancel their trips this year altogether. One-fifth experienced the cancellation of a flight and the same proportion resorted to ground transportation, due to problems in the air.
The positive news is that despite these unpleasant experiences, people have not lost their hunger to travel. If it were possible, almost two thirds of Czechs would travel, with a fifth ready to leave at any time regardless of travel restrictions. Less than a fifth of Czechs have been completely discouraged from travelling by recent events.
When it comes to concerns about the impact of coronavirus on travel, many more people (52 percent) are concerned about travel restrictions than they are about the health risks (20 percent). A quarter of respondents have no concerns about travelling at all.
Safety precautions regarding travel are sufficient for 40 percent of people
Travel security measures are deemed entirely sufficient by 40 percent of respondents, with only 15 percent saying they would strengthen them. If people could change anything about the current travel situation, they would choose the possibility for rapid COVID-19 tests at the airport (45 percent) and they would improve refund policies (refunds from the carrier to the client). A third of respondents would appreciate the possibility to choose flexible tickets in case of cancellations, while a fifth would like to see the introduction of additional health and safety measures.
“We can already see that both carriers and airports implement new solutions that make travelling easier even during the pandemic and increase safety standards for passengers. For example contactless and digital solutions or free COVID-19 tests provided. Emirates Airlines even provide global COVID-19 cover of costs,” explains Eliška Dočkalová, Kiwi.com Director of Customer Experience.
If they could, a third of Czechs would travel immediately
Almost half of the respondents expect to travel abroad sometime next year. However, a third do not want to wait, and if the situation allowed they would travel immediately – this attitude is especially common among men and single people. Booking tickets at the last minute is also popular among half of respondents in order to minimise the risk of flight cancellations.
“At Kiwi.com we have seen a rise in last minute bookings and we are currently seeing 20% of our bookings made less than 48 hours before the departure,” said Eliška Dočkalová, Kiwi.com Director of Customer Experience.
Half of Czechs do not expect to change their approach to vacation planning in any way. Nevertheless, safety when travelling is paramount for an even higher proportion (60 percent). A third of all respondents would only travel to “safe countries” – this is especially true for people over 45 and families with children. Almost a third also plan to purchase additional insurance for their trips.
Air traffic is still the most popular
Despite the major complications seen this year, 44 percent of people still prefer air travel regardless of COVID-19. One third (especially in large families) generally prefer to travel by car, bus or train.
A third of respondents would opt for a combination of air and land transportation if it offered better connectivity possibilities. Flexible ticket booking, which is seen as interesting by over 40 percent of people (especially frequent travellers, women and young people), is also attractive.
Preferences for the future: Europe
Looking to the future, 40 percent of people would now prefer short flights, which corresponds with an overall preference for European destinations (70 percent).
“This goes in line with our booking data showing that popular European destinations such as Spain, Italy and Greece, stay the same regardless of COVID-19 pandemic,” said Eliška Dočkalová, Kiwi.com Director of Customer Experience.
*Research by STEM/MARK research agency: conducted in October 2020 on a representative sample of 1012 respondents (18-59 years) who had traveled abroad at least twice in the last 5 years, using the online survey method.
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Kiwi.com was founded in 2012 by Oliver Dlouhý and Jozef Képesi. The travel tech company was created for travelers by travelers. Its proprietary algorithm – Virtual Interlining – allows users to combine flights and ground transportation from more than 800 carriers, including many that do not normally cooperate. Kiwi.com powers more than 100 million searches every day and employs 2,000 people worldwide.
Carol Barnes, Head of Global Communications, Kiwi.com
Nina Černá, Best PR