Domestic travel searches surge in May

Worldwide: Tripadvisor has revealed findings from its multi-month study on consumer travel sentiment, highlighting early green shoots of recovery in a number of countries worldwide.

The Tripadvisor in-house market research and insights team have outlined five stages of tourism impact and recovery:

1.Decline – Travel declines sharply as widespread restrictions enforced.

2. Plateau – Sharp decline in bookings levels out, but travellers start dreaming their next trip.

3. Emerge – Easing of travel restrictions begins, early signs of recovery in dining sector.

4. Domestic travel – Travellers book their first trips away, but stay close to home.

5. International travel – Border restrictions ease, and international travel begins to rebound.

In May, searches on Tripadvisor for domestic travel within the next 30 days grew rapidly in the US, with countries like New Zealand, Germany and Switzerland among the first markets to enter the Emerge stage of recovery.

Restaurant searches have resurged strongly in these markets, with around two in five consumers (41 per cent) saying they are optimistic they will take the same or more trips compared to last year.

In Europe, nature destinations have risen in searches, with accommodations such as cottages, castles, and hotels offering hiking and fishing activities trending upwards faster than other accommodation types.

59 per cent of consumers said they would prefer to go somewhere off the beaten path, with shorter trips to destinations closer to home growing in popularity. 44 per cent said they are more likely to take a road trip, and 61 per cent said they are most comfortable taking a road trip for three to five days.

Cleanliness is now a determining factor in consumer confidence. The provision of hand sanitisers and sealed amenities, the frequency with which rooms are disinfected, and the use of temperature checks for all employees and guests are now cited as top considerations.

“We’re encouraged to see positive signs of recovery and are here to help our partners understand the pathway through this pandemic with clear insights and tangible data,” said Kanika Soni, chief commercial officer for Tripadvisor. “Our path to recovery will depend on the steps the industry takes to prepare for the road ahead – not just in terms of new standards and practices but also in how we collectively educate and engage consumers in a new, more thoughtful way of traveling.”

Martin Verdon-Roe, general manager of hospitality solutions at Tripadvisor, added: “For hospitality businesses, today’s report offers plenty of reasons for cautious optimism. There are clear signs that many consumers have a strong desire to dine out and travel again when they are allowed to do so, but when they do they will bring a new set of expectations with them. Businesses that adapt quickly to embrace safety, flexibility and transparency will have a clear competitive advantage to communicate to consumers, and that could prove crucial in hastening their recovery.”

Tripadvisor’s full report can be found here. 

The Tripadvisor Consumer Sentiment Tracking Survey, based on data drawn from an online survey of consumers, in partnership with Qualtrics, was conducted approximately every two weeks from 27 March through 18 May across six countries worldwide.

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