Feeling safe to travel in 2021

Is 2021 the year travel and tourism will financially recover? According to the Mobility Market Outlook on COVID-19, global revenue for the travel and tourism industry in 2020 decreased by around 42.1% from the previous year. Certainly the industry is in flux so now is the time for all operators to reassure consumers that when mobility restrictions ease, it will be safe to travel again. The intention is there - a recent Travelport research* found that people want to travel, and are willing to — but only if rigorous safety measures are implemented across all stages of their journey.

We look at six ways carriers and online agents can demonstrably show that consumers will be safe to carry out travel once more.

1. Flexibility and the ability to change plans

Flexible travel arrangements continue to rank high on consumer preference lists. With national and international restrictions changing weekly – sometimes daily- consumers will be more inclined to book travel if they know that they can recoup their money should the circumstances change. And what comes with flexibility also comes agility and transparency, all key to making consumers feel comfortable making bookings in times of uncertainty, returning the favour with loyalty.

2. Ultra clean travel processes

Consumers will need to see evidence of enhanced cleaning and rigorous disinfection processes. It’s important that they have easy access to self-serve disinfectant stations throughout airports and bus, coach or train stations. Air filtration systems can provide extra reassurance where there tend to be large crowds in circulation in the one place.

3. Keeping our distance

According to a recent PWC report**, 43% of consumers are likely to spend more to confirm physical distancing on their next flight. Families with children are even more safety-conscious, with 60% willing to pay more, as are 55% of younger consumers aged 18 to 40 years. Equally there needs to be a clear Social Distancing Policy in place, from the staff desks to the queuing area with safety materials such as plexi-glass at key interaction spots such as check-in and security areas.

4. Safe Travel Certificates

Temperature checks, ‘health passports’ or an official medical certificate stating that passengers are Covid-free or have received a vaccination may become routine for future journeys. Each country is still working through the national policies for items like this but it is something we can expect in the near future.

5. Contactless payments

In order to ensure consumers continue to feel safe around ticket purchase, check-in or check-out, hotels, stations and other tourist spots will need to offer contactless payment options. Whilst some airports globally are already using no-touch screening technology and facial scanning, investment will be required to roll this out globally.

6. Innovate with insurance

Many operators provide COVID-19 insurance and flexible cancellation options, but ultimately will this be enough to make consumers feel safe and confident to book again? Operators need to think beyond the obvious cover and go that extra mile to create protection that fits into revised consumer expectations when travelling again. For example, providing insurance solutions that align with the steps mentioned above, such as, cover in the event there is no clear social distance policy whether it’s on a bus, train, at a theme park or during an activity, or an insurance that covers the consumer in the event there is no temperature checks or contactless payment.

With the massive revenue decline and business devastation we’ve seen across travel and entertainment, reinforcing consumers’ confidence to book again is crucial. For now, the emphasis is on operators to better position themselves as a safety net for consumers, ready to offer consumers them the safest, most stress-free and compliant experience so that the industry as a whole can begin to heal again.


Companjon is Europe’s newest technology company specialising in tailor made add-on insurance solutions. We partner with industry providers to bring fast, flexible and fully automated solutions that are tailored to their customers’ online bookings and purchases - ensuring that they have peace of mind if plans change. From claims to payouts, the process is seamless, flexible and entirely digital.

Get in touch with our team to learn more about how Companjon can be the safety net for your customers.


PWC's guide on restoring confidence in travel during COVID-19

Travelport's insights on 10 safety measures to boost traveler confidence

Explore AARP's travel trends for 2021