Travel industry professionals are almost equally split over whether only the wealthy will be able to afford holidays in the future, according to research released Monday 1 November by WTM London.
Some 1000 professionals from around the globe were asked about the impact of the widely anticipated price increases as a result of the pandemic on the overall market. Just over half (51%) were concerned that travel would become the preserve of the rich, with 49% disagreeing.
The WTM Industry report also asked about the scale of the increases, with the net result confirming that prices are set to go up in 2022. More than one-in-three (35%) of the sample said prices were likely to go up by between 1% and 20% compared with the current year. However, intense cost pressures and the need to recover revenues lost during the pandemic mean that more than one in 10 (12%) are expecting to put up prices by more than 20%.
On the other hand, some are anticipating prices to drop, with 15% predicting a modest drop of between 1% and 20%, while 9% said their company’s prices would fall significantly by more than 20%. Around one-fifth (22%) expect prices to be the same.
UK consumers are also aware that the twin impact of Covid and Brexit on prices has the potential to impact the affordability of travel, with 70% admitting this is a concern for the future.
WTM London, exhibition director Simon Press said: “In the UK, the total cost of overseas travel for summer was skewed by having to pay for testing, while the demand for staycations led to supply shortages and price hikes. These specific pressures may or may not still be applicable for next year, but the results from the industry are unequivocal – prices will rise in 2022.
“Many sectors in travel were moving their consumer messaging towards ‘value’ rather than ‘cost’. The challenge for the industry is to ensure that they can provide a product and experience which justifies the price increases to the traveller and which retains their margins, but without pricing themselves out of the market.”
WTM London, hosted at ExCel, closes this evening, Wednesday, 3 November, followed by the virtual version starting 8 November.