Covid rearranges vacation priorities of Israelis

Vacations Photo: Shutterstock

Price still remains the most important factor when booking a vacation but the ability to cancel, hygiene and isolation requirements are now also vital.

A survey of Israeli vacation priorities by global online travel agency Agoda in collaboration with Geocartagraphia has found that in the age of Covid, price is still the number one priority for more Israelis than any other factor.

But while 18% responded that price was the most important factor, this is only a fraction of the number of people who in normal times would choose price as the most important priority.

17% of respondents said that the top priority was the flexibility to cancel up until the last minute, taking into account the frequent changes in instructions and restrictions because of the virus. 16.3% said that hygiene matters were the most important including cleanliness and other related conditions in hotels and the level of staff who are vaccinated.

16% said the most important factor, if traveling abroad, was not being required to enter isolation on returning to Israel. For this reason Vienna, Budapest and Prague are especially popular with Israelis at the moment because there is no obligation to isolate after returning from Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary, which are among very few such 'green' countries at the moment.

15.3% of Israelis said they would prefer a destination that allowed in only people who are vaccinated and/or have recovered from Covid and 13% said that it was most important that there was no requirement to go into isolation when entering their destination country. 5% said that the instructions in the destination country, likely having to wear masks, was the most important factor.

Generally speaking younger Israelis (18-34) were mosre concerned with price while older respondents (55 and over) were more concerned about the health aspects of the vacation.

In terms of the type of vacation, 43% of Israelis said they would prefer to vacation at home rather than abroad (the high occupancy rate in Eilat despite the high prices testifies to this). 18% said it was important that their vacation be in the countryside, 14% by the beach and only 11.3% said that their next vacation will be abroad and only 10% wanted to travel to somewhere 'new' or 'unexpected.' 5% wanted an active vacation (hiking, sea sports etc.).

When asked what they missed most, 36% of Israelis responded the spontaneity of booking a last minute vacation, even though most people today leave it late to book a vacation because of constantly changing restrictions.

Agoda COO Omri Morgenstern said, "The way in which we prefer to go on trips is different than in the past and the data from the survey shows that. We were glad to see that Israelis, like the rest of holidaymakers worldwide, now find it important to be safe and that the place hosting them adheres to the highest standards of hygiene - disinfecting rooms and public areas and being careful only to admit guests with vaccination certificates. In addition, we found that vacationers are now only booking trips if they are certain that they can cancel the deal if they need to, and we are aware of these sensitivities."

The online survey encompassed 504 people aged 18 and over who are a representative sample of the country, and was conducted at the beginning of August.

Published by Globes, Israel business news en.globes.co.il - on August 22, 2021

Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2021

Vacations Photo: Shutterstock
Vacations Photo: Shutterstock
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