Travellers desire a higher level of security for airlines, other modes of transportation, and accommodations, according to a survey conducted by IgoUgo.
More than two-thirds of respondents believe that there should be higher levels of security (e.g. baggage checks, identification verification) within ground modes of transportation, which include car rentals, buses and trains. Additionally, 41 percent of the overall respondents believe that there should be a higher level of security (e.g. baggage checks, identification verification) for hotels, motels, resorts, etc.
Travellers showed significant support when asked if they were willing to pay additional fees for security measures in hotels and other types of accommodations. 47 percent are willing to pay an additional $10 per night if a hotel offered an array of security services including security checkpoints at each entrance, an emergency kit in room, and the ability to call hotel security for assistance from outside the hotel.
Additionally, travellers desire a higher level of security on airlines, and some are willing to share the burden of the cost. According to survey respondents, if additional security features were accompanied by a $50 service charge, 39 percent of respondents would pay for the additional security measures. The top three security measures that would make travelers feel more comfortable or secure when flying are armed military or federal marshals on airplanes and in airports, guaranteed accommodations in the event of flight cancellations, and hidden video cameras in airplanes to monitor passenger activities. Respondents also endorse a national travel card (e.g. program that prescreens and approves passengers prior to travel) and the idea of a “Trusted Traveler” program that passengers voluntarily participate in that use high-tech identification devices such as retinal scans.
For the travel industry, these findings represent a potential opportunity to share the extra costs of security measures with travelers. This can help alleviate some of the post September 11 financial burden on travel companies and can help aggressive travel companies differentiate themselves and involve the consumer in addressing the desire for greater security. For airlines and ground transportation companies, the type and sophistication of the security measures can help determine the appropriate service charges. Hotels could opt to charge the service fee outright or provide an array of security services that consumers can select from for a range of service fees.
“In this post September 11 environment, consumers will respond to active steps in security. The travel providers that are proactive will be set apart from the rest,” states Jim Donnelly, President of IgoUgo. “Depending upon the type of traveler, travel providers can vary the levels of security offered. For example, an airline catering to business travelers may offer a quicker and safer type of passenger screening- a “Trusted Traveler” program that utilizes sophisticated technology such as retinal scans to ensure the safety of their passengers.”
Additional survey findings indicate that consumers will continue to travel despite their desire for increased security measures:
- The survey found that 47 percent of respondents have flown on an airplane for leisure since the events of September 11.
- Post September 11 Leisure/Pleasure & Holiday Travel: 67 percent of respondents had traveled by automobile, 49 percent had traveled by airplane and 10 percent or less had traveled by train or bus.
- Of those that have travelled post September 11: 37 percent now feel more comfortable traveling but are not sure if they plan to travel more, 27 percent now feel more comfortable travelling and plan to travel more, 18 percent do not feel more comfortable traveling, but will if they have to for holidays or business, 24 percent cited travelling did nothing to ease their fears and they will not be traveling anytime in the near future, while 36 percent have not traveled since September 11.
- 31 percent cited no concern about the potential for travel within the U.S. rather than abroad and an additional twenty five percent displayed a willingness to travel anywhere with a cheap flight.
The traveller survey was sent via email to the members of the IgoUgo community and the results are based on a sample of 743 people worldwide.
IgoUgo is the premier online travel community made up of the world`s most avid travelers. Members use fellow travellers` recommendations for planning trips and receive rewards for posting their own journals. Recognized by the Webby Awards as one of the “Best Travel Sites” for 2001 and by Yahoo Internet Life as the “Best Travel Community” for 2001, IgoUgo has over 38,000 journals and 40,000 photos covering 2,000+ destinations. Partners include Earthlink, Rough Guides, and several major tourism authorities.