This is one of the main findings of the Travel Compass 2022, presented by Jörg Kablitz, Managing Director DACH at PayPal, and Markus Heller, Managing Partner at Dr Fried und Partner.
Other well known effects have been shorter reservation deadlines, the desire for increased flexibility and a willingness to spend more on travel.
“Until now the subject of ‘payments’ has always been a necessary evil and a stumbling block when making online reservations”, according to Heller. Simplified and more secure payment processes have also meant that online is now the preferred method of payment.
The pandemic has been a contributory factor, because, even during lockdown, fixed location travel agencies were open, or re-opening at the re-commencement of the reservation period for the previous year. During the first year of coronavirus the industry “did not cover itself in glory” with regard to service and accessibility, Heller admitted, alluding to the delays in paying customer refunds.
Kablitz recalled that it was in fact the travel sector that was struggling during the first months of the pandemic. However, many customers stayed loyal to this channel, in particular because of the added travel safeguards.
The flexibility that was provided also extended to payment deadlines and payment methods, something that his own company also offers now. For cashless payment methods the pandemic also lead to an upsurge in the adoption of QR codes, about which the market had until then been hesitant.
Because it involves scanning, this has meant that payments could be made entirely contactless. Eventually a combination of traditional and new methods of making reservations, delivery and payment will become established, as we have seen in the case of click&collect during the pandemic, according to Kablitz.