Exploring global sentiments towards travelling today

We asked people across the globe about their pre-pandemic, current and future travel plans, as well as feelings towards travel during turbulent times.
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global travel plans

Having gone through restrictions, closures and bans, the global travel and tourism industry has seen some of the biggest disruption with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with it came cancelled plans, new ways of working and new traveller concerns.

As some global restrictions begin to lift and vaccinations are distributed, the global community of travellers is beginning to look ahead to a new-normal.

So, Kantar has conducted an online survey among people globally, asking about their personal and business travel plans and their feelings towards travelling in today’s environment. Explore some of our findings here as well as additional answers within the complete report.

How frequently were people travelling last year?

Globally, just under half (48%) of people interviewed report to have had a holiday or vacation (that involved travelling) in the last year. Just under 1 in 4 (23%) have had one holiday or vacation. The highest was seen in France (32%) and China (29%).

Singaporeans have travelled the least with 4 out of 5 (80%) not having had a holiday or vacation in the past 12 months, followed by the UK (68%) and Germany (61%).

global travel plans

Are people planning to travel for holidays this year?

Globally, 65% of respondents have a holiday or vacation planned in the coming year. Four out of 5 in Mainland China report to have made plans whilst just over half of UK and Singaporean respondents have planned holidays in the next 12 months.

Of those who do have plans in the next 12 months, 64% of these are rescheduled holidays or vacations due to the pandemic causing them to change their original plans. French respondents have the highest number of newly planned holidays at 53%.

Where do people intend on holidaying next?

Three quarters of travel plans for the next year are domestic. This is highest for Mainland China (93%), Brazil (87%) and the US (85%).

Whilst borders remained closed in Singapore at the time of interviewing respondents, Singaporeans report the highest intention of overseas travel in the next 12 months at 65%.

Air travel is reported to be the most frequented mode of travel transportation in the coming year at 45% globally (24% domestic and 21% internationally). This is closely followed by car at 42%, with 39% being for domestic travel plans.

global travel plans

Do business travellers have travel plans over the next six months?

46% have work travel planned in the coming six months.

This is highest for Chinese (68%) and Indian (57%) respondents with French (53%) respondents also predicting a ramp up in their business travel plans.

Travel plans for the next six months currently remain lowest in the UK (27%) and Singapore (29%).

Are people supportive of vaccine passports?

Globally, 70% of respondents support a vaccine passport – documentation to prove that a person has received a coronavirus vaccine – for international travel this year.

Eight out of 10 respondents in India, China and Brazil are in support and seven out of 10 in Singapore and the UK.

Respondents in the US and Germany are most opposed to the Vaccine Passport idea, at almost a third.

(Read more about the role of vaccines in attitudes towards travel in this article from Kantar Public.)

What concerns will people have regarding travel post-pandemic?

Looking ahead to after the pandemic, the greatest concern for people, reported by 36% respondents, is being stranded if further lockdown restrictions are re-introduced whilst they are travelling. These concerns are gravest for Chinese (49%), Singaporean (45%) and French (41%) respondents.

The secondary concern is needing to have had the vaccination and/or be tested for COVID-19 to travel, 36% globally and highest in Brazil and Singapore (41%).

Whilst price inflation is a concern for 28% of those we surveyed, the US is the only country to report price inflation as their primary concern. 34% of US respondents have concerns over price-inflation, compared to a low of 16% in Germany and China.

Overall Brazil and Singapore have the highest level of concern, with only 3% of respondents reporting they have no concerns when it comes to travel after restrictions are lifted. The least concern is in the US with 19% of respondents stating they don’t have concerns.

global travel plans

Get more answers

For more findings from this study, access the complete Community Report: Connecting with Travel Enthusiasts. Find additional answers on past and future travel plans, willingness to pay premiums, travel concerns and more.

Editor’s note

This research was conducted online among 7,796 people across eight global markets: US, UK, France, Germany, India, Singapore, Mainland China and Brazil.

Respondents were sourced from Kantar’s LifePoints research panel, only accessible through the Kantar Profiles Network. All interviews were conducted as online self-completion and collected based on local census distributions.

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