Airlines and travel agents have been preparing for the introduction of vaccine passports and the public is ready to embrace the idea as well, according to a survey.
‘Vaccine passports’ are already underway for international travel, but the government is still working on the finer details.
One of the most likely changes is the end of hotel quarantine for the fully vaccinated arriving in Australia from abroad.
While those who have not had the jab will still be confined to a hotel room for two weeks, the vaccinated will be permitted to quarantine at home. South Australia is about to put a home-quarantine strategy to the test.
And Qantas has made clear that it will require passengers on international flights to be vaccinated once quarantine-free international travel eventually returns.
According to the Expedia Group’s Traveller Value Index, the vast majority of travellers understand that vaccines are the key to travel resuming worldwide and around 71 per cent were comfortable with the concept of a vaccine passport.
The index also found that as a result of restrictions on travel, around 34 per cent of respondents had larger travel budgets than they did in 2020 and nearly one in five (18 per cent) expected travel to be the thing they spent the most on in 2021.
Highlighting the importance of travel after going so long without was the fact that more than a third of those to take part in the survey said they would trade a salary increase for more time off to travel.
The destinations people are looking to venture to when international travel kicks off could also look very different, with three-quarters of travellers likely to select a destination they have never been to before.
The pandemic has also changed attitudes towards travel in other ways, with many travellers now valuing access to full refunds or enhanced cleaning above all other considerations when it comes to hotels and holiday rentals.
The ability to get a full refund on bookings if you needed to cancel was rated as the number one concern for 29 per cent of Australian respondents to the survey, while enhanced cleaning was rated as the equal second most important factor alongside atypical low pricing due to the current environment (both 17 per cent).
Air travellers also value the ability to get a full refund the most highly ahead of low pricing and enhanced cleaning (which were equal second).
Cruising was the only sector where low pricing was the most important factor for many, but older generations, especially baby boomers, were more attracted to the ability to get a full refund and enhanced cleaning.
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