The People Most Likely to Book International Travel First

As international travel resumes in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, new research suggests that young professionals, local families and backpackers will be among the first to book trips abroad.

According to a recent report by service sector advisor Sentimantle, analyzing more than three dozen tourism recovery cases from prior epidemics in addition to customer behaviors and risk perceptions, these groups possess the demographic characteristics, motivations and psychological properties to resume international travel before most.

“Young professionals are expected to travel mostly to business and financial capitals with current low rates of COVID-19 infections,” said Sentimantle’s Founder and CEO, Dr. Elad Harison, via CNBC’s Global Traveler. “For example, Copenhagen and Oslo are relatively safe destinations for business travels, while New York, London, Paris, Milan and Madrid have significantly higher numbers of cases, which may prevent executives and business persons from traveling to them—or companies sending them to these cities—in the next few months.”

Meanwhile, after months spent at home, families with young children are likely to seek out opportunities for shorter weekend getaways to nearby destinations that they’re more familiar with, whether it’s an American family crossing the border into Canada or a Dutch family taking a brief trip to neighboring Belgium.

These local families are likely to leave additional family members or friends behind, avoid group tours and opt for accommodations convenient to parks, nature and other open-air sites and attractions.

Finally, backpackers, who tend to be young, single and often male, are motivated to travel for work or, in many cases, spend several months away from home during periods of unemployment or hiatus. Since this group is likely to travel for longer periods, they’ll likely target discounted mid-range hotels or hostels to stretch their budget, Sentimantle found.

While not everyone will resume travel at once, there’s reason to be optimistic about 2020 as a recent Travel Leaders Network survey found that half of frequent travelers are beginning to make definitive vacation plans for this year.

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