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Omnico Group research reveals changing guest expectations post-COVID

Visitors want more safety measures, integrated technology and loyalty schemes

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Omnico, the cloud-based POS and customer engagement solutions provider, presents its latest research on the impact of the pandemic on the attractions industry, in the form of its 4 Post-Covid Guest Expectations in 2022 report. While restrictions have been eased in the UK, only 50% of those surveyed in the country have visited an attraction since they reopened. Almost half said they were still wary about visiting due to safety concerns.

In addition, nearly 4 in 5 (77%) said they felt attractions should be doing more to get them back through the gates, for instance, increased COVID-19 safety measures, smart technology, personalisation and loyalty apps.

Visitors expect more

Almost 6 in 10 (59%) of those surveyed said integrated technology would make their experience safer and more convenient. And, if this tech is not on offer, 30% would not return, with 34% also discouraging others from visiting.

The latest report from Omnico shows how consumer expectations have changed during and after the pandemic, as well as looking at what operators can do to meet these expectations and provide a better experience going forward.

“The pandemic has changed consumers’ expectations of attractions and what’s clear is that UK consumers do not want things to get back to how they used to be,” says Keith Dunphy, chief revenue officer at Omnico. 

“Visitors expect technology to be seamlessly integrated into every stage of their visit – whether that’s ordering food ahead, contactless payment options, or online shopping – and what’s more they’re willing to pay more for it. Now, the onus is on attractions to meet these demands by creating an experience that guests love.”

Safety & technology

Just over a third of consumers paid a visit to an attraction during the summer months this year and many of those reported disappointing levels of safety. Only 53% saw sanitiser stations and 48% reported social distancing markers were in place. Furthermore, only a third said they had experienced pre-booked time slots. This led to low levels of satisfaction amongst those surveyed: only 44% rated their trip as ‘excellent’ and 46% said ‘good’.

Around 1 in 3 visitors said safety measures would make their visit better, and more than a quarter said they would pay more for a ticket if the experience included things like contactless and smart tech, for instance, digital maps, contactless payment, e-tickets and RFID wearables.

Rewarding customers

The trend for personalisation shows no signs of slowing, with guests now expecting technology at every touchpoint. 17% of those surveyed said personalised offers would encourage them to spend more and 32% said they would be more inclined to visit again if offered personalised discounts after their trip.

In order to make this level of personalisation a reality, operators need to connect all their customer-facing touchpoints, meaning they can gain a holistic profile of their visitors.

Attraction visits have dropped by 72% since the outbreak of COVID. However, 3 in 10 of respondents said that a loyalty programme is key and 25% said they would be likely to spend more if they could collect and spend loyalty points during their visit. So, operators must reward engagement and encourage loyalty if they are to recoup their losses and boost revenue.

“Post pandemic, meeting consumers’ expectations at attractions is only possible by connecting and digitizing the end-to-end experience,” adds Dunphy. “By following customers throughout their entire journey and providing them with personalised rewards and incentives that really stand out, you’ll add value to your guests’ visits and get them back through gates again and again.”

The full report is available here.

Earlier this year, Omnico announced that it has seen a significant increase in contactless technology sales across its client base, after COVID restrictions were eased.

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charlotte coates

Charlotte Coates

Charlotte Coates is blooloop's editor. She is from Brighton, UK and previously worked as a librarian. She has a strong interest in arts, culture and information and graduated from the University of Sussex with a degree in English Literature. Charlotte can usually be found either with her head in a book or planning her next travel adventure.

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