As vaccine programs are rolled out and lockdowns are lifted, venues around the world are preparing to reopen their doors. But a lot has happened since March 2020. To ensure your venue recovers, it’s essential to know, and prepare for, the future trends in tourism.
In March 2021, Tiqets conducted a survey with more than 7,000 participants in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the US about their tourism choices post-Covid. The results are both positive and a sign of the times – 70% of respondents said they plan to visit museums and attractions within the first month of reopening, and nearly half of respondents cited easy cancellation and refundable tickets as their most important booking consideration.
What have consumers missed most?
When asked which venues they were most excited to visit post-Covid, 30% of consumers cited historical sites as their top choice, 25% said museums and galleries, 18% said nature attractions, 14% said theme parks, 10% said sightseeing activities, 2% said attractions like observation decks and stadiums.
In the US, where some states are further along in their reopening, that enthusiasm has turned into action. “Almost 60% of US respondents to our survey plan to visit museums and attractions within the first month of reopening – and in the states that have already reopened, we’ve seen that demand turn into visits for the museums and attractions we work with,” said Daniel Hackett, Tiqets’ Regional Director for the US.
Summer 2021 booking trends
Booking online for museums and attractions has risen above in-person bookings with over 70% of survey respondents saying they would book online through the venue or third-party websites, rather than on site.
When it came to booking considerations: 46% of respondents were most concerned with being able to cancel bookings free of charge, 16% said they’d be more concerned with checking what was open in the destination they planned to visit, and 12% cared about capacity limitations and being able to book tickets in advance.
Speaking for the Italian market, Tiqets’ Regional Director for Central and Southern Europe, and the Middle East Paolo Fatone pointed out that while many people are eager to travel and embrace tourism again, they are inclined to be more cautious. “The important things for Italians will be flexibility [free cancellation policies], responsible tourism [avoiding overcrowded places], and safety [respecting the security covid protocols].”
Indoor vs. outdoor venues
With Covid research suggesting that meeting people outdoors is safer than meeting indoors, many indoor museums and attractions have had concerns about their recovery. But it looks as though consumers are ready to enjoy both indoor and outdoor venues.
“We all know that indoor museums and galleries were hit hard over the past 12 months with consumers favouring outdoor activities, so it is encouraging to see that more than 60% of UK respondents are comfortable visiting both indoor and outdoor venues when they reopen,” said Alexis Peppis, Tiqets Regional Manager for the UK. The global survey results reflect the same comfort with indoor venues, with 66% of participants overall saying they’re comfortable visiting both kinds of venues.
So, what future tourism trends should you prepare for?
As the travel and tourism industry reopens, museums and attractions have to do two seemingly contradictory things: stay vigilant, but also take advantage of the tourism rebound. Consumers are excited to get back to culture but after a year of last-minute closures, cancelled holidays, and shifting goal posts, they also don’t want to get burned. Keep these future tourism trends in mind when planning your reopening.
Keep or create a flexible booking model
Features like flexible booking and capacity restrictions will likely remain important to consumers. Almost half of the respondents to Tiqets’ survey said that their number one booking consideration was free cancellation, and 12% said they were concerned with capacity measures.
Don’t rely solely on walk-in visitors
70% of survey respondents say they book tickets to museums and attractions online. Combine that with the stats around concerns about capacity restrictions and a preference for flexible booking, and offering online booking is a no brainer.
Make sure customers can book quickly and easily through your website and team up with an OTA like Tiqets to broaden your reach. Looking for online booking solutions? Check out our Booking Engine.
Target visitors close to home
If you want to take full advantage of tourism’s summer comeback, target local visitors. With travel restrictions likely to remain in place and consumers likely to be wary about making ambitious travel plans, your best target audience is your local audience.