September 5, 2023
With the opening up of borders internationally. Particularly for young people, now might be a time of “revenge” travel‒trying to make up for lost time by traveling and seeing the world, going to the places that they were unable to before the pandemic.
The global travel industry took a heavy hit because of COVID-19. At the time, warnings were dire‒that airline bookings might take years to return to normal, or that the airline industry might simply never quite be the same.
Likewise, the hospitality industry has struggled to keep aﬂoat without tourists. Though the hospitality industry called for government relief in some cases, or otherwise sought to pivot to domestic tourism, this was not always successful and proved highly variable depending on the market.
Relief may be in sight, with the opening up of borders internationally. Particularly for young people, now might be a time of “revenge” travel‒trying to make up for lost time by traveling and seeing the world, going to the places that they were unable to before the pandemic.
This seems to be the case with Malaysia, with those under 31 the only group that plans to travel more frequently with the abating of the pandemic. By contrast, those over 31 are less likely to travel. It may be that younger travelers are less afraid of the eﬀects of the coronavirus, which disproportionately aﬀected the elderly.
Perhaps it will take more time for those over 31 to feel comfortable traveling again. Either way, young people under 31 may be more likely to travel than for leisure, given their age, while business travel is more common for those between 31 and 50.
This will have a large impact on the hospitality and travel industry, particularly given diﬀerences in how young people aged 16 to 30 arrange for travel. Those over 31 are also more likely to make travel arrangements for themselves for leisure trips, and those over 51 are more likely to have others make travel arrangements for them‒likely due to greater familiarity with the Internet. Older travelers are more likely to purchase tour packages that include ﬂights.
Using airline websites to book tickets is increasingly prevalent compared to using booking sites or having others make arrangements. This is true for both business and leisure travel, with increasingly few people visiting brick-and-mortar stores to make travel arrangements or airline oﬃces. At the same time, fewer young people are part of mileage programs or collect hotel points, suggesting opportunities for growth by targeting younger demographics.
Japan, Korea, and Thailand are the most popular leisure destinations, while China, Thailand, and Japan are the most popular business trip destinations. Travel could still be impacted by COVID-19, however, such as with regards to how travelers face the risk of being stranded in China due to COVID-19 policies.
Moreover, consumption habits as a whole may have changed due to COVID-19, as with the change to work-from-home arrangements or remote arrangements for employment and study. The use of data from surveys allows for a more precise understanding of how conditions have changed, to allow for adjusting to new trends and staying ahead of the curve. This is all the more the case as the hospitality and travel industry copes with the paradigm shift that was caused by COVID-19.