A global survey of traveller sentiment has revealed the importance of touch-free travel – and which nations are most confident about holidaying during a pandemic. Rose Dykins reports

According to a survey of more than 10,000 international travellers by social research agency Blackbox Research, in partnership with data provider Dynata and language partner Language Connect, found that 76 per cent of people would prefer to travel to countries with reliable contactless experiences.

The global study also asked travellers which innovations they hoped to see across the travel industry in the near future.

Overall, respondents expressed a strong preference for contactless travel – in line with Globetrender’s prediction that overcoming traveller Germaphobia through innovation will be key for the travel industry after Covid-19.

For 44 per cent of respondents, e-boarding passes were a priority, while 43 per cent believed touchless lavatories were the way forwards.Conactless hand sanitiser dispenseFor 40 per cent of those surveyed, contactless journeys from airports to hotels would be important.

Meanwhile, 36 per cent believed no more middle seats on public transport was a good idea, and 35 per cent hoped to see digital health passports introduced.

Recent research from Vision Box also found that 63 per cent of the top airports, airlines and government agencies will seek to implement biometric technologies at airports for contactless travel.

Vision Box, is a leading company in seamless biometric travel, automated border management and electronic identity management solutions.

Its technology currently exists at more than 80 airports worldwide including London Gatwick, Amsterdam Schiphol, Abu Dhabi Interntional, New York JFK, LAX and Sydney – as well as Eurostar terminals.

The company installed Europe’s first facial recognition e-gate at Portugal’s Faro International Airport in 2007. In 2009, it initiated a national framework agreement with the Home Office and the UK Border Force to modernise British borders and international airports.

Facial recognition technology at the airportHow do travellers feel about going abroad during a global pandemic?

More than 10,000 people across 17 countries were surveyed by Blackbox Research, Dynata and Language Connect about their sentiments, preferences and expectations.

The study explored which of the 17 countries’ citizens felt most confident to travel again in “the new normal”. India and Thailand were tied for top place (scoring 76). Asian countries dominated the list of countries that scored above the global average of 61, including China (69), Indonesia (65), and Singapore (64).

France, Germany, and Denmark also rated above the global average. Countries that scored below the global average included Sweden, New Zealand, UK, Canada, and the US.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, Japan rated the most cautious, with a score of 40, followed by the Philippines (43) and Hong Kong (50).

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