Travel is back! Amidst a global rollout of coronavirus vaccine, new data suggests the travel industry is due for a post-pandemic resurgence.
Aggressor Adventures recently announced the positive results of its latest Consumer Travel Index, which tracks consumer travel sentiments on a bi-monthly basis.
The survey asked respondents to share their travel plans for 2021. Results show nearly 40 percent of travelers are planning longer trips this year, with more than 55 percent of consumers having booked or planned a future trip during the past three months.
“At Aggressor Adventures, we’ve seen first-hand in the first quarter that people are valuing their time away from home more than ever. Bookings increased 17 percent this March compared to pre-pandemic averages,” says Wayne Brown, CEO of Aggressor Adventures. “I am encouraged to see travelers taking longer and more extensive vacations. This allows for people to add in experiences they wouldn’t have had time for on a shorter break.”
A recent American Express Global Travel Trends Report reveals that 54 percent of consumers believe the freedom and flexibility of being able to live and work while traveling the globe is more appealing now than it was prior to the pandemic. Similarly, Aggressor’s survey shows more than 19 percent of consumers intend to travel more this year because they are working remotely.
“While you may not be able to work remotely on adventures, customers are benefiting from professional flexibility during plane rides and layovers. The ability to stay connected with your employer while traveling to and from our destinations gives travelers peace of mind that their workload will be significantly less daunting upon their return home than in years prior,” says Brown.
The pandemic has changed peoples’ perception of luxury travel. Aggressor’s survey results show nearly 40 percent of consumers plan to spend more money than they normally would on a trip this year. Similarly, the American Express Global Travel Trends Report reveals personalized experiences, high cleanliness standards and privacy being the most desirable luxury amenities among respondents. Additionally, 59 percent of travelers indicate they want to use a travel agent to help plan and customize their next trip.
“Our phones have been ringing off the hook since the start of the new year. Customers are telling us they see small group luxury travel as the safest option for them,” says Lisa Stierwalt, Travel Agent with Aggressor Adventures. “People have a little extra money in their pocket from staying home during the pandemic and are using travel to treat themselves to a much-needed adventure. We have exceeded our expectations for the first quarter of this year and can’t wait to see what the rest of the year might bring as vaccination rates increase across the globe.”
With so much momentum behind the industry, I am confident we will see a rebound this summer and fall that will exceed expectations and pre-pandemic numbers. I am excited to continue to support the industry-wide effort to help consumers return to normalcy doing what they love most, travel.
The Wayne Brown Story (Founder of Aggressor Adventures)
I would like to introduce you to Wayne Brown, a self-made entrepreneur from humble beginnings who built an incredible travel empire, Aggressor Adventures.
The son of a truck driver and a school bus driver, Wayne was raised on a farm in Jacksonville, Florida with his four siblings. Growing up with the mantra that anything that is broken can be fixed through perseverance, Wayne helped his parents raise animals and grow vegetables to feed his siblings.
After high school graduation, the U.S. Airforce came calling, and Wayne enjoyed 8 years of serving his country while also getting to see the world. Following his stint in the Airforce, Wayne worked his way up the ladder at Taco Bell and became a City Manager. While the future was bright, he wanted to become his own boss and partnered with a franchisee to build new Taco Bell restaurants and purchase existing locations from corporate. His 60 restaurants performed so well he was elected to the Board of Directors, providing council to other franchisees.
Wayne’s success as a franchisee allowed him to cultivate his love for travel and take up scuba diving as a hobby. The hobby would later become a passion, and Wayne went on to purchase Aggressor Fleet, a liveaboard scuba diving company with boats all around the world.
Fast forward three years and Wayne has transformed Aggressor Fleet into Aggressor Adventures, an outdoor adventure company housing three distinct adventure brands as well as a full-service travel agency that helps travelers see the world. Aggressor Liveaboards offers the ultimate liveaboard experience for scuba divers all over the world. Aggressor River Cruise sails the land of the Pharaohs aboard luxury. And its newest adventure, Aggressor Safari Lodges Sri Lanka, is a five-star tented lodge offering luxury accommodations, personalized service, and majestic safari sightseeing.