UK Pandemic Savers Could Provide a Boost to Long-Haul Destinations Like the Maldives Post-COVID-19, Says GlobalData

Those in the UK who were able to save during the COVID-19 pandemic may now be considering a ‘bucket list’ trip, as cancelled trips and a reduced ability to travel has left bigger budgets for more once-in-a-lifetime trips to the Maldives. This could provide a much-needed boost to destinations that require long-haul flights, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Rheanna Norris, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, said: “The vaccinated over-65s are likely candidates. While the situation remains fluid, it is expected that being fully vaccinated will offer a greater ability to travel. This, along with minimal concern regarding personal financial situations, means that older visitors are likely to provide economic gain for luxury, long-haul destinations.”

GlobalData’s COVID-19 Recovery Survey of 509 participants from the UK between 2 and 6 December 2020, found that 58 per cent of respondents aged 65+ were ‘not concerned’ regarding their personal finance situation. Meanwhile, 87% of respondents aged 25-34 were ‘extremely’ or ‘quite’ concerned (combined) on this matter. This result shows the generational difference in terms of the financial impact of COVID-19.

Norris continues: “Increased holiday budgets will benefit long-haul ‘bucket list’ destinations that attract luxury UK travelers, such as Barbados, the Maldives and Mauritius. However, destinations will only reap benefits from the increased holiday budgets and spending in the next few years, as confidence to book a holiday in 2021 remains low.”

According to a live Verdict Community survey live since November 2020 with 1343 respondents, the issue most likely to deter people from traveling is ‘quarantine requirements’, and it is hoped that the UK’s traffic light system will make things clearer where that is concerned. The Maldives is currently on the red List but that may change shortly. Low confidence and the threat of quarantine may mean investment into ‘bucket list’ trips come in 2022 and 2023, to eliminate any cancellation threats.