ACTA Survey Finds Clients Nervous About Travelling Due To COVID-19
Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw
A survey of ACTA members has found that the COVID-19 outbreak – declared a "Public Health Emergency of International Concern" on 30JAN by the World Health Organization – is fostering a fear of travelling among consumers.
The survey revealed that the virus is "most definitely" having an effect on the travel industry, says ACTA. The results show that consumers are concerned not just about Asia, but cruising specifically and travel in general.
Of clients already booked for future travel, 56% of agents reported incidents of clients seeking reassurance about whether to travel, while 27% reported clients wanted to cancel. Approximately 17% reported clients wanting to postpone, change dates or shift destination.
Top Cancellation Requests
Asia cruises and river cruises top cancellation or change requests, with Caribbean cruises next and Europe bookings close behind. There were also a large number of requests to change or cancel Caribbean and Mexico trips. Smaller numbers of requests to cancel or change were also received for U.S. destinations.
When it comes to future booking patterns, 87% of travel agents said Asian cruises are slower than normal and 85% said Asian river cruises are slower than normal.
58% of agents reported Europe cruise sales are slower than normal and 47% reported Caribbean future cruise sales are slower than normal.
On the flip side, the majority of agents said that future bookings were normal for the Caribbean and Mexico, the U.S., Central & South America and Europe (non-cruise).
The survey had a total of 401 respondents from across Canada. Approximately 57% of these agents work in storefronts; 21% are home based with host agencies; 11% are corporate travel; 7% call centre and 5% wholesaler.
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.