TRAVELERS want the global tourism sector to learn the lessons of the pandemic, and to change for the better, a brand-new global survey has found.

The Future of Tourism Survey explored attitudes to travel and the expectations of consumers in 11 countries around the world. It found that: (1). 44% of respondents called for greater harmonization of health protocols and the use of technology to enable seamless travel, (2). 34% wanted to see greater sustainability at the heart of tourism, (3). 29% wanted to see health and sustainability prioritized over profits for the travel sector, (4). 33% called for greater financial protections for travelers – likely in response to the experience of the pandemic.

People from China, India, and South Korea were most in favor of greater harmonization of safety protocols and use of technology to make travel simpler.

Conducted by YouGov and commissioned by the Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, almost 14,000 people were polled, across China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, South Korea, Spain and Sweden.

According to Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia said the pandemic has a profound impact on the global tourism sector. It has shown us all – travelers, tourists, businesses and governments, that we can do things differently.

“The Future of Tourism Survey shows that the public want us to learn the lessons of the pandemic and to make changes that put health, sustainability, and the better use of technology, at the heart of future tourism,” he said.

The Survey found that the travelers’ attitudes have changed following two years of pandemic and lock downs which have constrained travel. 55% of respondents are now more likely to travel domestically. And 32% of people are more willing to make an international trip than they were before COVID.

Economic uncertainty and rising prices have damped enthusiasm for travel over the next 6 months. Globally, 42% of people are either likely or very likely to travel internationally for a holiday, compared with 39% who are either unlikely or very unlikely to do so.

The biggest impact, however, has been on business travel. Just 18% of respondents consider themselves likely or very likely to travel for internationally for business.

Chinese, Japanese and Americans were least optimistic about the prospect of international travel. By contrast British, Indians and Saudis considered themselves most likely to travel internationally in the next 6 months

The Future of Tourism Survey was released ahead of the 116th meeting of the Executive Council of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), which will take place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia next week, hosted by the Saudi Ministry of Tourism.

Strengthening the tourism sector and adapting to future demands for greater sustainability and resilience are high on the agenda.

Prior to the pandemic, Travel and Tourism (including its direct, indirect and induced impacts) accounted for 1 in 4 of all new jobs created across the world, 10.3% of all jobs (333 million), and 10.3% of global GDP (US$9.6 trillion). [PRNewswire]