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#TBF20 Takeaway: Outlook for event travel

Event-goers will travel in the same proportion as pre-pandemic when travel restrictions subside and events are deemed safe by governments, according to Stay22’s head of sales Frederic Aouad.

Speaking at last month’s TheTicketingBusiness Forum 2020, Aouad explained that while for the first time in half a century event travel is taking a gigantic dip in terms of its growth, it is a change in people’s ability to travel due to Covid-19 restrictions and not their intent. Watch the full session here:

In the session, alongside Kevin Sauvageau, product owner at Stay22, which helps event goers make event travel decisions, they note that while the volume of its sales have dropped over the last few months, conversion rates have returned to pre-pandemic level.

“There is little or no evidence that patrons will be less inclined to travel to events contrary to what we hear,” Aouad said. “I’m sure there will be people who will be fearful to travel for events. But that is negligible right now to say the least.”

In fact, Stay22 predicts that when travel restrictions subside, there will be a temporary boom in event-travel that will outpace pre-pandemic levels due to the pent-up demand with patrons who are eager to travel to events but cannot.

Sauvageau added that he wouldn’t be surprised if governments and other institutional entities move forward with various forms of incentives to bring more travellers into their cities, countries or states and try to keep them for longer.

“As soon as the floodgates open, everyone will try to grab their own share of travellers,” he said.

The session also tackled the question of whether Covid-19 has changed the way in which people plan for event travel. It highlights that while there has been a move towards people booking more rentals versus hotels than before, as well as a rise in the length of stay and patrons using their desktops more, the data only suggests a small evolution at best. Aouad adds: “Certainly not the ‘revolution’ we could be led to believe.”

Stay22 concludes that while there have been some minor changes due to the pandemic, the post-Covid reality of event travel will not be drastically different from the pre-Covid era.

Save the date: TheTicketingBusiness Forum 2021 takes place between 21-23 June, 2021…

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