Summer holidays: abroad or at home?
In our previous blog post, we identified online behavioural patterns that help to understand how consumers are adjusting their holiday plans to the new reality. Now with more countries lifting their entry quarantine rules, and the so called ‘travel corridor’ lists expanding, consumer holiday options are growing. This week we’ll take another look at the data, adding in data for France, Germany and Italy, to understand the appetite for holidays across the region.
Hotels & home sharing
Looking at visits to hotel and home sharing sites provides a good indication of interest in holidays. In all EU5 countries there was an increase in visits in May 2020 when compared with April 2020. For Germany and Italy, the visits index jumped above March 2020 levels, with 56% and 36% increases, respectively. For Spain and France visits to hotel and home sharing sites/apps almost returned to March 2020 levels, which is positive. The UK lags behind them. However, this lag is to be expected as the UK was the last of these countries to declare a lockdown and also the last to ease restrictions.
Online Travel Agents
A similar pattern was observed with visits to online travel agent sites and apps. Visits to these sites and apps in all EU5 countries, excluding the UK, increased in May 2020 compared with April 2020. However, only Italy has exceeded the levels of March 2020, suggesting a longer road to recovery ahead for the other EU5 countries.
With restrictions limiting options for travel, staycations have become more appealing than ever. The chart below shows that although the travel corridors may slowly be opening, for now consumers are prioritizing holidays in their country of residence over flying abroad. Consumers in France and the UK visited airline websites less than in March 2020, while for Spain, Italy and Germany there was a rebound in visits to airlines sites and apps in May 2020 compared with April 2020. However, none of these countries have recovered to March 2020 levels.
The last category which provides insights into holiday interest is travel information. Visits to these sites and apps suggest that, although consumers haven’t been able to travel, their interest and desire to do so have been maintained throughout the lockdown, with visits remaining relatively level for all countries apart from France, which had a dramatic drop in April 2020.
The data suggests that the travel industry is showing signs of recovery, with visits to many travel subcategories bouncing back in May 2020 compared with April 2020. As we head further into the summer and as more countries are included on travel corridor lists, we anticipate this trend to continue. However, for the time being, it is clear that staycations are the preference of consumers living in the new normal.