Travel change fatigue – A new industry challenge

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Travel Change Fatigue – What is it?

Travel change fatigue is a previously unforeseen scenario, driven as a result of constant travel plans being booked, changed, rescheduled and/or cancelled. It’s the impact to peoples patience and their willingness to continue the practice of booking travel.

Why it’s an issue?

As we press on closer towards our now announced percentage targets of vaccination, with the hope of returning to some level of ‘travel normal’, we are still continuing to see plans cancelled. With restrictions being announced almost daily and the known threat that with just one case in a new location, everything will be stopped, travel suppliers will have no choice but to cancel or heavily reduce capacity or schedules.

Whilst the percentage targets are a great thing to have, I would be bold to say, many travellers would indeed have some trepidation even with this encroaching goal being met. Will we see the end of lockdowns? will we be able to travel more freely? or will the constant opening and closing of states continue?

Imagining that the latter is a realistic outcome come the end of 2021, what will this do to the travel consumer and their already flailing trust. Surely we would see more declines in forward travel planning and spending? More uncertainty for our tourism heavy economy and more potential job losses.

Can it be fixed?

Yes it can. We all have a responsibility to continue promoting our industry and share our passion for travel, although we will see the best solution to travel change fatigue through the creativeness of the travel supply chain. Some great things to keep in mind are:

  • Explain newly introduced flexible conditions or refund options
  • Market incentives to position increased value to the traveller
  • Promote the post sales support they will receive in the event things don’t go to plan.
  • Proving clear FAQ to cover multiple scenarios
  • Keeping the customer updated as they approach departure or arrival
  • Reminding the customer that their support means so much and has a positive impact

Customer communication is the answer. It’s something which has been missed or done poorly in most aspects of COVID-19 and the travel industry. Now with almost 2 years behind us it’s time to support the customer and get their confidence back.

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