The COVID-19 pandemic has immensely impacted all players of the French travel sector. Hotel occupancy in France declined by 64% in Q4 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 (Source). And besides the hotel industry, the airline industry faced an unprecedented year to say the least as well. The full year results of Air France-KLM in 2020 were as dramatic as for most airlines, where vacancy was severely impacted by the Covid-19 crisis, at 46% of last year’s level while the traffic decreased by 69%, mainly due to travel restrictions in place (Source).
In order to plan for the near future, it is important for the travel industry to understand the impact of COVID-19 on their consumers. To help marketers and other players on the market prepare and anticipate the travel plans of French consumers, we published a research report on French Consumer Travel Behaviour in 2021, featuring French consumers’ perspective and plans on traveling during these uncertain times.
The results gave us an extensive and comprehensive idea on how the French envision their travel plans and under what conditions traveling could be possible if it was up to them.
Where would the French like to stay on their next vacation?
Hotel travel is extremely convenient, and easy to book. 43.94% of all respondents would choose to stay at a hotel on their next vacation. From this group 48.28% of respondents were ages 26-35, and 25.86% were aged from 36-45 years old.
Renting a home is an extremely popular response amongst consumers of all age groups and genders, with 31.82%. Renting a home increases privacy, allowing travelers to feel more comfortable if they are looking to remain isolated from other travelers.
The Preferred Mode of Transportation in 2021 for the French
With 19.70% driving in a personal car is a popular mode of transportation amongst respondents of all genders and age groups. This notion further supports the idea that people are looking to remain in the privacy of their own friends and family.
Similarly the study found that 42% of respondents are hoping to travel to a city within their country of residence next – explaining why they would be interested in driving there.
Offer roadtrip travel guides! Create personalisable routes travelers can follow on the drive to their destination country, outlining interesting activities and important stops along the way.
With the choice of 18.94%, train transportation is also favored choice amongst travellers of all ages and genders. Train travel is gaining popularity and momentum with COVID-19. A study by UBS banking found that “leisure travellers are prepared to go on rail journeys five to six hours or longer.”
Outline the benefits of train travel, and offer discounted train deals – even if the journey is longer. Consumers will be attracted to cheaper prices, if there are benefits – e.g. high sanitation, good travel insurance.
Curious to learn more?
You can find out a lot more insights by downloading our French consumer travel behaviour research report.