Updated October 2021 – The COVID-19 pandemic brought the travel industry to a screeching halt. As stay-at-home orders were put in place and restrictions lasted for months after quarantine, travelers found that they were not able to enjoy their favorite hobby and pastime. For tour operators, this ushered in an unprecedented era filled with dwindling bookings and plummeting revenue.

The good news is that now, in 2021 – with vaccine levels steadily increasing across the globe and many countries beginning to reopen their borders, international travel no longer feels out of reach. Many countries with the majority of their populations fully vaccinated are even beginning to scrap mandatory quarantine for fully vaccinated international travelers. Some of these countries include Singapore, Brazil, France, Germany, and the United States.

What is revenge travel?

Revenge travel is a phrase that has emerged in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Travelers who were not able to explore the world in 2020 are now making big plans for 2021. After missing out on a year of travel, travelers are looking to take bigger and better trips than ever before. They are willing to splurge on luxurious extras, and they want to make the most out of their first travel experience since the pandemic began.

With that being said, priorities and considerations that many travelers used to seek have shifted to adjust to the uncertain times we are still currently living in. According to Arival’s Path to Purchase September 2021 report, flexible cancellations and refund policies sit at the top of the list when it comes to travelers’ priorities in 2021 – with 69% of travelers stating that flexibility will be their main consideration before they commit to booking travel plans.

Along with flexibility, Arival’s report also shows that over 60% of travelers agree that COVID safety plans such as clear and visible cleaning, crowd control, and vaccine requirements are other important considerations too.

All these added factors will remain a priority for many travelers even as we enter 2022. It’s for this reason that tour operators should acknowledge and act on these points in order to successfully capture bookings.

Preparing for Revenge Travel

5 Ways Tour Operators Can Prepare for an Increase in Bookings

Tour operators should know that revenge travelers are on the way and that they will see an increase in bookings. However, what, when, and how travelers make bookings are looking to be a bit different this time around. Based on Arival’s report, 46% of travelers are only making bookings within a week of taking a tour. The report also shows that the content of the tour itself is another vital component that travelers are putting first. This means that many people are willing to pay more in return for quality tours, activities, and experiences.

Now that you have a clear insight into revenge travel, here’s how you can prepare:

  • Design new products aimed at travelers who want to enjoy large, luxurious trips. You can create a new tier level of tours and activities that include extended tour times or extra experiences. Or, you can offer upgrades that give travelers the chance to customize their experience to their liking. Either way, you can take advantage of revenge travelers’ desires to spend big and help boost your revenue during this recovery period.
  • Create a flexible booking plan that accommodates the new needs and preferences of travelers. Living in uncertain times means many travelers won’t commit to a tour without a cancellation plan. You should offer flexible booking and cancellation policies in order to help travelers feel more confident while booking.
  • Invest in a tour booking software that will help you manage the increase in bookings. After a challenging year with minimal bookings, you’ll want to have the right technology in place. A tour booking software will ensure that you effectively manage your bookings and coordinate your resources. This will allow you to efficiently book as many people as possible.
  • Implement a safety plan that accommodates COVID-19 guidelines and recommendations. As travelers are preparing to step out of their comfort zones again, many are still very concerned about COVID-19. You need to create and implement a plan that helps travelers feel safe and comfortable on your tours. Setting up a COVID safety plan checklist may be beneficial for your business.
  • Be aware that many of your bookings may come from local residents rather than domestic or international travelers. While you may not have promoted your products to local residents before, many locals are now looking for fun activities. This is a perfect opportunity to capture locals looking for activities that do not require them to travel far.

Conclusion

While you have likely spent many months redeveloping your business strategy and shifting focus at your tour and activity company, it is now time to readjust again. By having the right tour booking software in place, you’ll be able to adjust to the changing times. Rezdy can help you promote your products to your target audience and increase your bookings, regardless of the circumstances.

For more information about how Rezdy can help you take advantage of the revenge travel trend, begin your FREE 21-day trial today or speak to our friendly team to book a demo.

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