A new travel mindset

American Express Travel asked travellers from seven countries what was on their minds and the results were interesting. There’s a clear appreciation for the benefits that travel can bring.

Hazel Jain

Paying for future travel

Travellers are already thinking ahead to how they’ll book and pay for future trips. With the increase in flexible booking options, respondents are ready to book now, with 56% indicating they miss traveling so much that they are willing to book a trip even if they might have to cancel it in the future.

In fact, people miss traveling so much that 76% of respondents surveyed are creating their destinations wish list for future travel even though they might not be able to travel yet.

Rise of the digital nomad

Flexible and remote work policies combined with unique incentives from hotels, like beach workstations and discounts on extended stays, have influenced the rise of the digital nomad – someone who lives and works while traveling the globe.

Fifty-four per cent respondents said the freedom to live and work while traveling is more appealing now than it ever was. The extended stay trend varies by region with Card Members in Mexico, Canada and the UK twice as likely to book a stay of eight or more days than those in the US, India, Australia, and Japan.

The new luxury travel

The pandemic has changed peoples’ perception of luxury travel with personalized experiences (82%), high cleanliness standards (81%) and privacy (79%) being the most desirable luxury amenities among respondents. In fact, 80% indicate they are willing to travel to destinations during the off season so that it’s less crowded.

American Express Travel has also seen increased interest in customers searching for unique getaways and spacious, fully equipped villas.

Surge in ‘second city’ destinations

As many travellers look to avoid the crowds, 69% of respondents are interested in visiting lesser-known destinations. American Express Travel booking data reinforces this trend, showing a rise in reservations for second-city destinations. American Express Travel consultants are also seeing requests for smaller cities like Porto (instead of Lisbon) in Portugal, and Wellington (instead of Auckland) in New Zealand. Some customers are open to going ‘anywhere’ they can safely travel right now.

Backing local communities

Travellers want to support small businesses and communities that make a destination unique. Seventy-two percent of respondents agree that they are passionate about traveling to destinations to help boost tourism revenue and the local economy, and 77% agree that they want to be more conscious about supporting small, local businesses while traveling.

Brands that prioritise diversity

Sixty-nine per cent of respondents agree that they want to choose an airline or a hotel that values diversity and inclusion, and whose employees reflect a diverse customer base.


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