In a presentation during ITB India 2021 Virtual, Rachit Uppal, Industry Head for South Asia at Twitter stated that the desire for travel is even stronger than before, despite COVID uncertainties.
In his presentation, Uppal shared data on current feelings, expectations and conversations involving tourism on Twitter, the world’s largest “focus group” in social media.
“We monitor on Twitter a wide range of sentiments over travel, with the most common sentence being – ‘I miss travelling’,” said Uppal.
Nostalgia about travel is high, as monitored by Twitter. “People shared on the network anything related to travel, from the smallest details to their recreation of a travel experience. We also saw a rise in travel related hashtags such as #faketravel or #flightToNowhere with inflight experiences on the ground offered by Singapore Airlines or Thai Airways International,” said Uppal.
Twitter analysed user feelings and sentiments through various data collected on Twitter or via external consulting firms. “A very positive conclusion is that travel conversations did not stop with the emergence of COVID. They actually even increased by 4% globally Y/Y with 620 million tweets. It demonstrates how deeply-rooted travel is in our society,” he stated.
Travel remains a main conversation topic
Positive talk about travel is also back, after a drop due to COVID restrictions during the first global wave of cases. Another encouraging figure is the growth in the desire for foreign holidays. According to Twitter data, 26% of people tweeted in July 2020 that they planned a foreign vacation in the next 12 months. This number climbed in January 2021 to 62%. Another encouraging sign is the fact that vacation/trip/flight came at the top of the list of prioritised purchases – ahead of clothes, smartphones, home appliances or even cars.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel,” assured Uppal. To the question “What of the following are you ready to do in order to travel again?” 53% of the respondents* named “Vaccination”, 49% mentioned “Test before departure or after arrival”, 29% wanted to be able to change to a destination with a low incidence of cases, but only 20% were ready to go into quarantine. Even fewer respondents (12%) were ready to pay more to keep social distancing on planes.
* Twitter analysis from the answers of 8,640 people from Australia, India, Japan and Singapore