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Survey of Latin Americans reveals changing traveler expectations as the industry moves toward recovery

Responses indicate that Latin Americans are eager to travel but have high expectations for new safety measures, flexible schedules and, above all, a good deal

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay – Oct. 1, 2020 – Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, today released the results of a Latin America-wide travel sentiment survey, revealing 5 key findings that the travel industry can leverage for recovery coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new survey provides insight into the travelers’ state of mind across Latin America and the Caribbean as the industry starts showing signs of recovery, driven by the lifting of some travel restrictions. “Latin Americans are eager to get back to traveling. Leisure and essential travel are leading the recovery in the region, with domestic flights recovering at a faster pace due to international travel restrictions,” said Guillermo Prosper, vice president – customer and product support & site leader of Sabre Montevideo. “Our survey results show the impact that the coronavirus pandemic is having on traveler priorities and expectations. Travel companies that quickly accommodate travelers’ changing views will be more successful in their recovery efforts.” Below are the 5 major findings of the Sabre survey about the Latin American traveler sentiment (view infographic): Key Finding 1: Many Latin Americans are eager to get back on the road once travel restrictions are lifted. Although 20% of the respondents said they would not travel unless a COVID-19 vaccine is available, and 11% are not planning to travel anytime soon, the survey shows positive indications for the travel industry with 50% of respondents saying they plan to travel within 6 months once travel restrictions are lifted. Among the respondents, 14% indicated they would travel immediately after travel restrictions were lifted while 21% said they planned to travel within 1 to 3 months,
  • Survey results indicate that, of all the age groups, Latin Americans between the ages of 18 and 39 are the most eager to travel with 38% saying they will travel within three months of the restrictions being lifted.
  • The country with the most positive travel sentiment was Mexico, with 52% of respondents expecting to travel within 3 months once restrictions are lifted.
  • Peru is the most cautious with a total of 42% of respondents saying they would not travel unless a vaccine is available. 
Key Finding 2: Mode matters. Travelers will be thoughtful about how they get to their next destination. Out of all respondents, 36% identified travel by bus as having the highest risk of COVID-19 infection, followed by air transportation at 27% and cruise ships at 25%. Rental cars seem to be the favored choice with only 2% of respondents identifying it as the riskiest mode of travel.
  • Brazilian respondents indicated that traveling by air presented the most risk of getting infected (35%), followed by cruise transportation (32%) and bus (23%).
Key Finding 3: While travelers will demand schedule flexibility and enhanced safety measures, price is still king.   When asked about the most important factors in their next decision to travel, safety measures, schedule flexibility and price held nearly equal importance in the responses. Among respondents, 36% said the top driver to book their next flight would be competitively priced deals. However, 30% said it would be safety measures, and 28% identified schedule flexibility and liberal cancellations policies.
  • In Brazil, 50% of respondents chose price as the most important factor, followed by Mexico with 38%.
  • In Peru, 52% chose strict safety measures as the main driver to book their next flight, same as Argentinian respondents with 38%.
  • In Uruguay, 40% of respondents chose flexibility in cancelations or rebooking as the most important factor.
Key Finding 4: Travelers have high expectations for enhanced safety measures but prioritize social distancing and masks over other efforts. When asked to rank various safety measures in order of importance, respondents identified social distancing, use of masks and enhanced sanitation as the three most important safety measures for air travel. Travelers want social distancing even on flights with 61% of respondents saying they would cancel or change a flight if they knew it was full.
  • For lodging, the top priorities identified are enhanced cleaning and social distancing.
  • Interestingly, for both hotel stays and air travel, respondents ranked temperature checks and contactless check-in among the least important of the factors listed in the survey. 
Key Finding 5: While Latin Americans seem eager to travel, many will choose a destination close to home. More than half (56%) of respondents indicated they would opt for either domestic or short-haul travel (below 8 hours travel time) when booking their next flight while 22% would opt for a long-haul flight (over 8 hours).
  • Respondents from Mexico and Peru would choose short-haul flight, 72% and 71% respectively.
  • Respondents from Argentina and Uruguay had the highest inclination toward long-haul travel, with 37% and 38% respectively – almost doubling other key markets in Latin America.
Survey Methodology The Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) travel sentiment survey aims to gain insight into the mindset of travelers across the LAC region. A total of 1,760 responses was gathered and used to formulate the insights outlined in this press release. No personal data was captured through the anonymous survey. The survey comprised a total of 15 questions and was hosted online via Qualtrics survey software. It was made available in two languages – Spanish and Portuguese. The survey was distributed to travelers across LAC via Sabre Corporation’s media channels in Facebook and LinkedIn during September. To enhance outreach, a sponsored Facebook ad ran for 2 weeks in September. This press release is also available in Spanish and Portuguese


About Sabre Corporation Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveler experiences. Through its leading travel marketplace, Sabre connects travel suppliers with buyers from around the globe. Sabre’s technology platform manages more than $260B worth of global travel spend annually. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world. For more information visit www.sabre.com.  Media Contact Denise Canelas Sabre Public Relations – Latin America & the Caribbean denise.canelas@sabre.com  

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