The Lufthansa City Center (LCC) Group has conducted a consumer survey among all international LCC customers to analyse the travel behaviour and the changing needs of travellers in times of COVID-19. In total, 2,288 corporate and leisure customers took part in the survey - a novelty in this form. The results show that travel and face-to-face meetings will not be replaced by virtual meetings in the future. Despite COVID-19, the desire to travel continues to be great and the demand will already increase in the next three to six months.

These findings are positive news for travel agencies, Martina Groenegres, Managing Direc-tor of Lufthansa City Center International (LCCI), acknowledges: "Our international LCC travel agencies have been tremendously challenged over the past weeks. This survey among our LCC customers emphasizes a positive trend and reveals: The combination of an increasing choice, reduced travel warnings and the opening of borders as well as the expert knowledge of the individual LCC travel consultant will be key for our customers.”

Business travel continues to be important
For most respondents, business travel is vital. Three-quarter of the respondents believe that the volume of travel will decrease by at least 50 percent in 2020. For 2021, the results look more positive: 38 percent said that the travel volume will be the same as in 2019. Replacing business travel with virtual meetings is out of the question for the majority: 83 percent prefer real meetings versus video conferences. Also promising are the travel plans after COVID-19: 53 percent plan to journey again after three months; 34 percent after six months, however, with a similar or smaller budget. Among all respondents, air travel remains the main means of transport for their business trips.

Consumers want to travel
The desire to travel is great among leisure customers. The majority is planning a trip in 2020 – 48 percent of them regional and cross-border and 30 percent intercontinental. Many of them can hardly wait: 36 percent intend to travel after three months and 32 percent after six months. For more than half of the surveyed, last minute offers are also an option. Beach and city breaks continue to be very popular (with 62 percent and 54 percent), followed by countryside and mountain holidays (each with 33 percent). As far as means of transport are concerned, 90 percent of those questioned prefer air travel over their own car (73 percent), and 68 percent want to stay in a hotel.

Expertise of travel agencies is wanted
In the future, travel agencies and their expertise will be in demand more than ever: "Apart from new technologies, the relevance of care products as well as new hygiene and safety services, it is the trusted relation to the competent travel expert with local contacts world-wide that makes a difference", says Martina Groenegres. Also, additional information will be required. For example, 50 percent of the corporate customers want information on the local health situation, 24-hour service or help in adapting travel guidelines. 43 percent of the leisure customers would pay extra for the service required due to COVID-19.

Survey procedure
The data was collected from international LCCI customers during 20 May and 12 June. A total of 2,288 customers - including 1,089 corporate and 1,199 leisure customers - from 48 countries took part in the survey. The majority of these customers came from Western Europe (36.10 percent), followed by Eastern Europe (20.59 percent), Middle East/Africa (12.81 percent), Asia (12.36 percent), The Americas (18.15 percent). Among the corporate respondents, 27 percent were travel managers, 9 percent procurement specialists, 27 per-cent travellers and 37 percent stated a different area of responsibility.