Limiting entry to those who are fully vaccinated could eliminate high demand from willing younger travellers. Many countries have prioritised older generations in their vaccination rollouts, but this risks leaving younger travellers in the lurch.

Vaccine requirements alienate many willing to travel mid-pandemic

As European source markets are progressing well with vaccination programmes, some popular destinations such as Malta have announced a requirement to be fully vaccinated before entry this summer, at least in the case of UK travellers. Whilst this is an effective step towards encouraging visitation and limiting the spread of Covid-19, it is unfair to younger travellers.

Younger travellers are more willing to travel whilst restrictions are in place and there is still some level of infection and transmission of Covid-19. In a GlobalData Covid-19 recovery survey*, the age ranges 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 were the most willing to booking an international trip this year. The least willing to book a trip in the near future was the 65+ age range.

Unfortunately, these younger age ranges 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 are most likely to be those last in line for vaccinations, following rollout plans. With current schedules, this may occur after the popular summer period in some countries, limiting the number of destinations young holidaymakers are able to visit this summer. This is in no way the traveller’s fault, making it unfair for those willing to start travelling again.

The move will entice some high-spending older tourists

Whilst not as enthusiastic to travel as younger generations, many of the older generations are financially more able to. Prolonged lockdown periods across Europe have allowed for the older generation to save. Residents of retirement age would have had only minimal changes to income levels due to less dependence on a job for income. This higher level of saving could result in more high-value holidays abroad, alongside increased levels of on-trip spending.

According to a GlobalData survey*, older generations are much less concerned regarding financial situations compared to younger respondents. Globally, just 29% of those surveyed aged 65+ were ‘concerned’ (‘extremely’ and ‘somewhat’ combined) regarding their personal financial situations. 74% of those global survey respondents aged 18 to 24 were concerned. This shows that whilst willing to take a trip mid-pandemic, younger generations may not be financially able to.

The newly imposed vaccine rule could also impact multi-generational holidays. These trips are expected to rise, especially in the luxury Covid-19 travel recovery, due to a prolonged period of being separated from family. Vaccine requirements could leave some members of the party excluded, which could prompt the postponing of the holiday entirely. Travellers will be unsure whether to book holidays in this period as it is unknown when individual vaccination could take place.

Multiple requirements will help to promote holiday equality

A mixture of entry requirements should be considered for a destination. Whilst accepting fully vaccinated travellers, the requirement of a negative Covid-19 test, which is standard at present in many destinations, should be accepted instead of vaccination certificates. This will help to promote equality in visitation and encourage more well-appreciated trips to be made to popular destinations.

*GlobalData global recovery survey week 11 undertaken 2 to 6 December 2020.

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