‘Revenge travel’ is a concept that has recently emerged referring to a traveller’s mindset in a post-pandemic environment. This concept relates that consumers will be more eager to travel and less willing to cancel their travel plans after national lockdowns/restrictions. More time spent at home has instilled wanderlust for many but with COVID-19 concerns still high and travel requirements prevalent, many are likely to still be delaying their ‘extravagant’ adventures till 2022.

COVID-19 concerns are still high

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations worldwide is providing a hopeful outlook for travel’s recovery. However, general concerns regarding this pandemic are still high. GlobalData’s Q2 2021 consumer survey* found that 74% of global respondents were either ‘extremely’ or ‘quite’ concerned regarding the impact of COVID-19 in general. The same survey also revealed that the living situation for 55% of respondents was still ‘staying at home as much as possible’. Until vaccinations are more widely distributed, and everyone has had a chance to receive one, international travel is likely to be stinted.  

Quarantine requirements have long been deemed essential for travel to various countries upon entry to mitigate COVID-19 infection. GlobalData’s Poll** found that quarantine requirements were the main deterrent for international travel for 58% of respondents, followed closely by travel restrictions (55%) and fear of contracting the virus (50%). Many destinations are now aspiring to diminish the number of travel requirements for entry for fully-vaccinated travellers, such as the UK aiming to scrap its traffic light system. However, until this is reciprocated by destinations worldwide, there are still various barriers facing travel’s recovery in 2021.  

Many have saved to splash out on the next adventure

It is known news that this pandemic has created economic hardships for many, but there are still various consumers that have managed to save. Another GlobalData Poll *** found that 28% of global respondents have a holiday budget either a ‘a lot’ or ‘slightly’ higher than before COVID-19. With more money to spend, the desire for more adventurous and extravagant experiences is high, with travel agencies across the spectrum noting record bookings for long haul getaways for Summer 2022. Some airlines have also launched more long-haul routes, such as United Airlines and Delta Airlines, to destinations across Europe and Asia-Pacific (APAC) predicting that there will be higher demand for more adventurous getaways.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the travel sector to its knees. Whilst the concept of international ‘revenge travel’ may not come to fruition until 2022, it will be welcomed by all across the sector.


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*GlobalData’s Q2 2021 consumer survey – 22,338 global respondents

**GlobalData’s Poll – closed 18 May 2021 – 1,361 responses

***GlobalData’s Live Poll – 210 respondents