Mental wellbeing gains importance in travel decisions after pandemic – ET TravelWorld

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Mental wellbeing gains importance in travel decisions after pandemic
As the travel industry works to recover from the impact of the pandemic, new research from Collinson shows mental wellbeing propositions will be key to passengers feeling comfortable taking to the skies again. 84 per cent of Indian travellers said they’ll be prioritising their mental wellbeing more when they travel now than they did before the pandemic. Similarly, 58 per cent of Indians surveyed said the pandemic has heightened concerns about the impact journeys have on their physical wellbeing.

Through analysing and comparing data collected from a total of 18.5k travellers in late 2019 (pre-pandemic) with data collected from 12,607 travellers in late 2020 (during the pandemic), the findings reveal that while physical wellbeing has been at the forefront of discussions around the recovery of the travel sector, travellers are now just as worried about their mental wellbeing as they are about their physical wellbeing.

Societal awareness of the importance of mental health has increased sharply over the past few years, including the impact of travel on mental wellbeing. 84 per cent of Indian respondents have said they’ll be prioritising their mental wellbeing more when they travel now than they did before Covid-19. While there was already a concern amongst travellers about the impact journeys were having on their physical wellbeing, 58 per cent of respondents from India went on to say the pandemic had heightened these concerns.

Despite there being a pent up demand for travel, over two thirds (67 per cent) of travellers think travel post-pandemic will be more stressful. When asked what travel brands could do to help the situation, 24 per cent of Indian travellers said they value propositions that show there’s consideration for their mental health on their journeys.

The findings also show that Indian travellers are specifically looking for visible health and hygiene measures when they travel, such as hand sanitisers throughout the airport (92 per cent), and socially distanced spaces in which to ‘de-stress’ and ‘relax away from the crowds’ – with 38 per cent of Indian respondents saying that they would pay for lounge access to better protect their well-being at the airport.

“Despite many of us planning holidays to relax and recharge, the pandemic is resulting in the travel section of our trips being viewed as more stressful than before. In return, many travellers are now paying more attention to their mental well-being while travelling, not only their physical. This is an extremely important insight, as by better understanding what travellers need to feel more comfortable and confident, brands within the travel ecosystem can implement required practices and in turn help expedite the recovery of the industry,” said Priyanka Lakhani, Commercial Director Middle East and Africa and Director South Asia, Collinson.

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