EY reveals changes in the habits of leisure travelers due to the pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has generated an unprecedented crisis in the tourism sector in Mexico, forcing the entire industry to rethink what the new normal will be like; which leads Mexican tourists to travel more to national destinations. Therefore, the application of hygiene and social distancing measures in a subtle way will be key to gaining the trust of travelers, so that companies in the industry will have to rethink their business models.
“In 2019, the tourism industry in Mexico represented 8.7% of the country’s GDP. In the remainder of 2020, despite the fact that the pandemic is having an impact on consumers in general, according to our research, more than half of them plan to travel this year ”, comments Juan Solana, Transformation Partner of Business and Innovation in EY Latin America North.
EY, a leading firm in professional audit, tax, business advisory, transactions, mergers and acquisitions services, presents the results of its study “Habits of Pleasure Tourism” which analyzes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on habits of Mexican travelers, as well as the opportunities and challenges for companies in the sector.
What is the impact of the pandemic according to the analysis of the study Habits of pleasure tourism?
In Mexico, tourism GDP will contract from 8.7% of GDP in 2018 to 4.9% in 2020. To a large extent, this impact will be the result of a drastic reduction in the flow of national tourists, who plan to travel 55% less compared to 2019. However, 45% of Mexican tourists expect to increase or at least maintain their local trips at the same rate as in 2019 and 25% will travel the same or more than in 2019 to international destinations.
The new normal in the tourism sector poses changes in the way that Mexicans travel. In particular, these tourists will seek to carry out activities, stay and travel with private services, or with little capacity (38% will seek private accommodation and 18% will seek to stay in hotels with less than 20 rooms).
In addition, 30% of Mexican tourists expect to be more cautious about the trips they will make in the coming months due to the risks of contagion; even 16% plan to travel only until there is a vaccine. Although, surprisingly, 47% of Mexican tourists plan to travel as soon as possible.
How should companies act?
As a result of the previous context, EY recommends that companies in the tourism sector boost national tourism, leveraging the upturn in preference for national destinations in Mexican tourists, as well as strengthening the captive client base in loyalty programs and contact lists of the companies.
It is also important that companies establish alliances with other companies in the sector to achieve a safe journey from start to finish. In this way, they will be able to provide the necessary sanitary measures to create confidence in travelers, without sacrificing the experience and the feeling of vacation.
The constitution of contactless services that meet the traveler’s safety expectations by enabling self-check-in and check-out, electronic minibars, digital access to the room, among others; it will be significant for Mexican tourists; The digitization of the traveler’s experience must be sought, managing to meet their security expectations while providing all the services they are looking for without friction, such as flexible and free reservation processes, taking into account the possible unforeseen events that they may have. the clients.
“Consumers have changed and the companies in the tourism industry that best adapt to these changes are the ones that will have a positive impact on consumers and their finances. The key factors to gain the trust of consumers will be hygiene measures, low prices, the flexibility of cancellation, and change of date ”, concludes Solana.