(22 September 2021) Research from ferry industry body, Discover Ferries, reveals consumer confidence in using public transport has risen1. The results also show more Brits would feel less concerned about contracting Covid when travelling by ferry than by aeroplane or coach2. Those aged 35 and over feel ferries are a safer mode of transport than planes, trains and coaches.
Since last September, the number of consumers saying they would feel safe travelling by ferries, trains, planes and coaches, has increased by an average of 15%3. Meanwhile the number of travellers who say they feel unsafe on public transport has fallen to just over a third,4 down from almost half last Autumn. The results show increasing confidence in using public transport, fuelled by the successful rollout of the UK Coronavirus vaccine programme and more people experiencing the reality of post-pandemic travel first-hand since travel restrictions were eased in May 2021.
UK passenger ferry operators are delighted that consumer confidence in ferry travel is returning and has grown since last summer. Throughout the pandemic, ferries have been perceived as a more Covid-safe way to travel, as the ease of boarding, spacious public lounges and access to fresh air on deck mean ferry travel naturally lends itself to social distancing. Ferry bosses have worked hard to implement strict Covid protocols to keep passengers and crew safe.
Furthermore, domestic operators have benefitted from the staycation summer; where trips to locations including the Isle of Wight, Channel Islands, Scottish islands and peninsulas, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Isles of Scilly have introduced more people to the enjoyment and comfort of ferry travel, benefitting the industry in the future.
As a result, the sector sees calmer seas ahead with the opportunity to offer more ferry holidays to more people and help Brits rediscover the beauty and joy of travel.
Abby Penlington, Director at Discover Ferries, comments on the findings: “It is heartening to see that consumer confidence in using public transport post-pandemic is growing. This is great for the travel industry as a whole, but particularly encouraging for the ferry sector where research has consistently shown that Brits feel more comfortable using ferries than other forms of public transport. These findings, together with last week’s announcement that Covid testing for international travel to England will be simplified and more affordable from October, offer further reassurance to passenger ferry companies on their course to recovery during the rest of 2021 and looking forward to 2022.”
1Research for Discover Ferries was carried out online by Censuswide on 28th to 31st August 2021 amongst a panel resulting in 2,004 responses from general consumers in the UK.All the research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines.
2 Combination of ‘Very safe’ and ‘Somewhat safe’ responses when asked how safe or unsafe from Coronavirus infection people felt about travelling on a list different of forms of transport including: Train, Ferry, Aeroplane, Car, Motorhome / Campervan, Coach, Motorbike / Moped / Scooter, Cycle.
3 Calculated by comparing like-for-like data collected 3rd-6th September 2020 and 28th-31st August 2021. This is the average difference between the number of consumers who rated different modes of transport as ‘Very Safe’, ‘Somewhat Safe’ and ‘Neither safe nor unsafe’ in 2020 and 2021 when asked how safe or unsafe from Coronavirus infection people felt about travelling on a list different forms of transport including: Train, Ferry, Aeroplane and Coach.
4 Calculated by comparing like-for-like data collected 3rd-6th September 2020 and 28th-31st August 2021. This is the average difference between the number of ‘Very Safe’, ‘Somewhat Safe’ and ‘Neither safe nor unsafe’ responses in 2020 and 2021 when asked how safe or unsafe from Coronavirus infection people felt about travelling on a list of different forms of transport including: Train, Ferry, Aeroplane and Coach.