“The expectation for the resumption is more pessimistic,” the sober-worded report tells us, adding, “If at the beginning of the crisis, most companies believed that it would happen in the months of May and June, now the stakes are in August or just at the end of the year. According to most companies, the return to normality will only happen in 2021, with close percentages divided between the first and second semesters.” (A semester equals six months.)
A joint project of the Brazilian travel trade publication PANROTAS and the Curitaba-based consulting firm MAPIE, the second edition of the report, PULSO TURISMO AND COVID-19, * whose first edition came out in April, was released at the end of May. Following are some key points from the study.
—55.52 percent of respondents say they had planned and / or purchased trips that were impacted by the new coronavirus pandemic. In this second edition, there is already more action on the part of travelers. At this time, 34.27 percent are still waiting to understand the next steps (before it was 45.45 percent), and the preference for 47.19 percent continues to be to change the trip to a future date.
—In general, the entire tourism chain was impacted by changes or cancellations. There was an increase in the percentage of contacts made since the first edition. The service providers that were most contacted by travelers were airlines (43.02 percent), followed by accommodation (37.43 percent) and traditional operators and travel agencies (17.23 percent)
—Tourism consumers keep an eye on the positioning of the brands and companies they follow. The number of consumers who said they will stop buying from brands that do not treat their employees/customers adequately during the pandemic and at this moment when the contamination curve is rising, rose to 55.17 percent (before 51.03 percent), 86 percent rate brands that encourage their customers to stay at home as responsible.
—The intention to travel decreased from the first to the second edition, which can be considered consistent with the moment, since the pandemic curve is growing in Brazil. In addition, confidence in tourism service providers has dropped considerably. Only 12.26 percent (before 22.68 percent) say they have total confidence in service providers.
—For most respondents, the travel budget was reduced in 2020. For 28.98 percent it remains the same and for 19.75 percent, it ceased to exist. There was no significant variation from the first edition
—In general, it is clear that customers are not only aware of new hygienic-sanitary practices and needs, but also want such conducts to feel safe. Masks can already be considered mandatory items in everyday life and also when traveling. 76.70 percent consider the use of masks in public / public areas essential to feel safe.
—Fear is a relevant factor in the decision to travel. 61.39 percent say they are afraid to travel and expose the family to the disease.
—The attention of companies has changed and now, the main focus is on maintaining contact with customers for relationships (65.14 percent). Then there are the actions to inspire future travel (64.59 percent). Managing cancellations and markdowns has moved to the third position (before the first).
—Most respondent companies have not yet made any layoffs, however this number went from 82.23 percent in the first edition to 68.32 percent in the second. We went from just 3.48 percent who had laid off more than 50 percent of the staff to 10.47 percent. In addition, 68.49 percent (formerly 49.32 percent) reduced the working hours and the remuneration of their teams.
—For 80.16 percent of the companies, it is essential that there is flexibility in the commercial policy, facilitating changes and cancellations and adjusting the forms of payment. Then, 78.05 percent consider it important to have a health seal or certification in airlines, lodging facilities and others to convey confidence to customers.
—43.21 percent totally agree that leisure tourism will be primarily regional and road in the coming months. The MICE segment will have to wait a little longer. For 41.73 percent of respondents, this segment will gradually return from 2021 onwards. 34.06 percent believe that corporate tourism begins to return little by little, as from the relaxation of the quarantine.
* Important notes:
• Be advised that this comes directly from the report discussed in this article, using a Google translation of the Portuguese-language document.
• PULSO TURISMO E COVID-19 is a series of research on travelers and tourism companies in this very troubled time, analyzing the impacts generated by the pandemic and the intentions for the resumption. The first edition was published in early April and this is the second edition, which also allows us to analyze the changes that occurred in this period. Both the first edition, launched in early April, and this second study can be downloaded for free at www.trvl.com.br (in Portuguese).
• For this research, an online panel was conducted with 416 Brazilian travelers from all regions of Brazil who made at least one trip in the last 12 months and 372 national tourism companies, predominantly travel agencies.