May 14, 2020

Weekly Travel Insights – 14 May

Between April 22 and May 5, we conducted an in-depth survey of over 2,200 people across the UK, US and Australia, to reveal key considerations when booking travel in the future as a result of Covid-19.

Here’s what we discovered…

Price is still king

Money still matters most to people when considering future travel.

The majority (33%) said price was the single most important factor they'd consider when booking travel. 21% said the safety of the destination, while 17% said it would be the ability to spend time with family and friends.

Flexibility is crucial

When asked what would encourage them to book again, 76% said airlines which offered fully refundable flights or no cancellation fees – and these would need to be communicated clearly throughout the booking journey.

42% said they would be encouraged to book travel if OTAs offered fully refundable flights or holiday packages.

Hygiene was the second most important factor. 43% claimed they'd be persuaded to travel by providers with superior hygiene and cleanliness levels. While 25% said they'd travel again if governments made testing mandatory in the place they’d be visiting.

People will travel without a vaccine

Less than 3% of participants will wait to be vaccinated before travelling abroad again, with 35% aiming to make their own judgements on when it’s safe to travel.

30% said they’d travel when flight prices were low enough, while 11% would only travel abroad again once the WHO declared the pandemic to be officially over.

Green shoots: Signs of recovery in South Korea

There are signs of domestic travel across the country resuming after social distancing restrictions were lifted.

  • From April 27 to May 3, the search volume for travelling to Jeju between May 10 and May 31 was about nine times (803%) higher than in the first week of April.

  • From April 27 to May 3, the search volume for travelling to Jeju in June was about six times (544%) higher than in the first week of April.

Koreans are optimistic about domestic travel.

  • Optimism has improved by one point week-on-week, with more than 92% saying they believe it’ll be safe to travel domestically within six months. 


Traveller optimism in APAC

Consistent with last week, 85% of APAC travellers believe it'll be safe to travel again domestically within six months.

Again, consistent with last week, about two in three (59%) travellers believe it'll be safe to travel internationally again within six months.


What travellers are thinking

These are the insights from our eighth weekly pulse survey of over 5,000 travellers in 19 countries. 

Perceptions of international travel:

Overall, slightly fewer people think the international travel situation is improving compared to last week, while slightly more people believe it’s getting worse. 

  • The percentage of people who think the global situation is improving has reduced: down from 54% last week to 52% this week.

  • The percentage who think it’s getting worse has increased: 22% last week to 24% this week.

  • The percentage who think it’s staying the same has remained at 24% from last week to this week.

Perceptions of domestic travel:

Similar to global travel, slightly fewer people think the domestic travel situation is improving compared to last week, while slightly more people believe it’s getting worse.

  • The percentage of people who think the domestic situation is improving has reduced: down from 57% last week to 56% this week.

  • The percentage who think it’s getting worse has increased: 20% last week to 21% this week.

  • The percentage who think it’s staying the same has decreased: 18% last week to 17% this week.


“We are seeing consumers come to terms with a new normal”

Jo McClintock, Global Brand Director, Skyscanner 

“Our latest research reveals an increasing amount of pragmatism among travellers when it comes to considering future travel.

“While there is still a large amount of uncertainty, we are seeing consumers come to terms with a new normal and shaping their attitudes towards travel and its provision accordingly. 

“Moves from travel providers to instil consumer confidence through enhanced safety measures signal early steps into this future. We are already seeing some promising initial signs from other countries like South Korea where infection curves have flattened.”

Next week, we'll share the latest data and insights from the past seven days on our blog, as well as keeping you updated with how we're helping travellers and the wider industry during the pandemic.