The winter period is for me a period of study and planning. An Expedia report “Travelers Priorities Index 2023“, has given me several insights into our world of travel and holidays in Puglia. In particular, on our way of working as a property manager in the field of the vacation rentals.
Expedia Group is one of the largest travel platforms in the world which includes, in addition to the Expedia site itself, also Hotels.com and Vrbo sites.
The latter is the sales channel for holidays in apartments and villas for which ThePuglia Immobiliare is Host Premium, an acknowledgment obtained for our way of working with professionalism and always with the aim of maximum satisfaction of our guests.
Several points emerge from the study on travellers’ priorities, both on trends in the travel sector and on the actions to be taken to adapt to these trends. I briefly summarize 5 of them here, they could be interesting for many people who deal daily with the world of online travel.
One point to keep in mind is that the pandemic has caused a change of course for both travel service providers and travellers.
The restrictions have increased the wish to travel
This point also affects me personally: the desire to leave is stronger than ever, precisely because of the impossibility or difficulty of traveling in these pandemic years. Some numbers that make us understand the trend are the following.
Nearly half (46%) of people say they value travel more now than they did pre-pandemic. And we see it in the facts: even if 31% say they have the same travel budget as the previous year, 43% say they will increase it next year.
The number of people traveling is also increasing: 79% are planning a leisure trip in the next year, up 76% in just a few months, and on average people intend to take two leisure trips.
According to Expedia, demand for vacation rentals in 2021 surpassed 2019 figures and continues to increase.
Travelers priorities: they choose based on their values
Guests consider various factors when booking a trip: price, convenience, safety, flexibility, … But they also consider two very important values: inclusion and sustainability.
The concept of inclusion is increasingly important: when we talk about inclusive travel, we refer to the fact that they are accessible to all people, regardless of their ethnic origin, identity and any disability.
And the concept of sustainability is also increasingly important. People favor sustainable options when traveling and half of them are willing to pay more for sustainable transport, activities and accommodation, even though many feel that traveling responsibly is overpriced…
While restrictions have disappeared, travelers continue to demand flexibility
People now feel more secure but want to continue to have flexible options. In Expedia’s latest study, preference for cleanliness standards has declined, but refunds are still a top priority, followed by price. The entire sector has had to adapt to more flexible cancellation conditions that meet the needs of the guest. And we too here at ThePuglia – real estate agencies in Puglia – have done it by adapting our cancellation policy.
Travelers’ interest in extreme cleanliness is declining
In studies carried out in 2020 and 2021, travelers placed the highest importance on their health and safety when booking travel. However, this has changed markedly with the increased availability of vaccines. While cleanliness standards will always be important to travelers (who wants to stay in unsanitary or unsafe conditions?), they are no longer a priority.
I must admit that it was also very important for us. In fact, as a result of the pandemic we have reviewed our cleaning practices with the cleaning companies we work with and we have learned so much!
As inflation has risen, price sensitivity has returned
Low prices are again at the top of the list when booking any travel product: 27% of people consider them the main factor. Consumers, especially those in the Americas and Europe, say inflation is impacting their travel plans more than worries about the pandemic and travel restrictions.
On this side, of course, we are all concerned. We have never seen such high levels of inflation. However, both we as holiday home and villa managers and our guests have to adapt.
They are all excellent ideas that we will consider in our annual planning to make your stay in our holiday homes and villas in Puglia more pleasant.
Research title: 2023, Traveler Priority Index
Subtitle: The difference between traveler expectations and travel industry perspectives
Research source: Expedia Group
The images in this post are taken from the Expedia Group study