The Travel Corporation (TTC) has recorded an emergence of solo travel bookings out of Singapore, Malaysia and the US for 2021, many being retirees who cannot wait to resume travel and check off their travel bucket-list.
Anthony Lim, president, TTC, Asia, told TTG Asia that these customers are aged above 50 and had experienced the company’s guided travel products pre-pandemic.
Besides booking ahead with confidence, these early bookers are planning to take longer holidays and to rely on a travel company that can provide a travel itinerary, which is required for some destinations, such as Greece, when travel restarts.
Some of the destinations that are seeing early recovery for Asian bookings are Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Greece and Egypt. Lim said these destinations could have fared particularly well as Turkey and Greece have policies that take care of travellers should they be stricken by Covid-19, while Egypt is a bucket-list destination.
“Travellers into these three countries also need not quarantine when they enter,” Lim added.
TTC’s flexible booking policy with a low US$99 deposit and allowing unlimited changes up to thirty days before the trip commences, single supplement discounts as well as full waiver of Single Supplement fees for select itineraries could have also played a part in triggering demand.
“Solo travellers recognise the attractive deals as a great opportunity with low risk since they can change their booking if they are still unable to travel,” said Lim, but added that customers are encouraged to book for trips taking place after June 2021.
As the “attractive deals” are still fresh, introduced ahead of this week, and valid until December 31, 2020, Lim expects take-ups to climb further.
“We believe that there is spark of revival in travel plans as there are travel insurance companies like Etiqa that are offering Covid-19 coverage,” he added.
Beyond financial lures, TTC is working to rebuild traveller confidence through a new well-being video and processes that provide peace-of-mind for customers. Among its efforts are a collaboration with the World Tourism and Travel Council to create a set of Safe Travels and Seamless Traveller Journey” global protocols that are aligned with WHO guidelines and national and regional government authority regulations. TTC has also appointed a well-being director for all guided programmes, who ensures adherence to hygiene procedures and provides travellers with the latest travel protocols guidelines.