April 16, 2020

Weekly Travel Insights – 16 April

Welcome to our weekly insight report, where we share our learnings from the previous week as our industry adapts and responds to Covid-19.

Latest travel trends

Here are the top five searches for the week 4th – 12th April across key markets in each region.

travel trends - top destinations during covid-19

  • UK searches remain similar to the first two weeks of lockdown, with Orlando a new entry at number two.

  • Germany and the Netherlands’ search volumes are low compared to other key markets.

  • London is the only international destination in the USA’s top five.

  • Brazil and Japan’s top five searches are all domestic.

  • In South Korea, there’s been a large number of searches for the southern island of Jeju – nearly three times as many as for Seoul, the capital.

  • In Australia, there are a similar number of searches for London and Sydney.

The table below shows the difference in searches from the week starting 6th April vs the previous week – highlighting the weeks getting the highest number of searches between 1st May and 31st December.

There’s been an increase in weekly searches in all markets for holiday periods vs the previous week:

  • In the UK, the highest number of searches is over the August bank holiday.

  • In Germany, the search period coincides with Labour Day.

  • In South Korea, it’s Children’s Day and Chuseok.

  • In Japan, it’s Constitution Memorial Day.

  • However, redirects (bookings) for these periods and around the Christmas holidays remains low.

  • Search and redirect volumes are down YoY, but these could be early signs of booking intent.

What travellers are thinking

These are the insights from our fourth weekly pulse survey of more than 5,000 travellers in 17 countries.

Let’s start with perceptions of international travel:

  • The percentage of people who think the global situation is getting worse is reducing: 74% in week one compared to 45% this week.

  • The percentage of people who think it’s getting better is increasing: 9% to 26%.

  • The percentage of people who think it’s staying the same is also increasing: 7% to 19%.

  • Don’t knows remain the same at 10%, suggesting people are moving their opinion from ‘getting worse’ to ‘getting better’.

Domestic travel has a similar trend:

  • The percentage of people who think the domestic situation is getting worse is reducing: 71% in week one compared to 38% this week.

  • The percentage who think it’s getting better is increasing: 8% to 35%.

  • Staying the same is also increasing: 12% to 20%.

  • Don’t knows is reducing slowly: 9% to 6.5%. 

  • In APAC, the domestic view is 'getting better' – jumping from 24% to 41%. 

Global and domestic risk perception is falling:

  • Global and domestic travel risk perception is slowly reducing but remains high. The risk of domestic travel is perceived to be lower than global travel.
     
  • Anxiety about the global situation is staying the same, while anxiety around the domestic situation is slowly reducing week on week.

  • People’s optimism about travelling later this year remains stable - and is higher for domestic travel than global travel. This is probably indicative of the survey participants being on our site and shouldn’t be considered indicative of the wider market. 

  • The expectation of time until it’s safe to travel globally has been reduced in the past week, compared to an increasing trend in weeks two to three. A similar but less pronounced trend occurred around domestic travel safety.

Regional perceptions of global and domestic travel safety

Global travel safety

In the Americas, the percentage of people who are confident it’ll be safe to travel internationally again in six months has risen from 60% to 66% in the past week:

  • 74% of US travellers
  • 49% of Brazilian travellers

In APAC, this figure has remained at 52% over the past week:

  • 56% of Australian travellers
  • 38% of Japanese travellers
  • 47% of South Korean travellers

In EMEA, this figure has dropped from 75% to 73% in the past week – but they remain the most optimistic region:

  • 72% of Dutch travellers
  • 74% of German travellers

Domestic travel safety

In the Americas, the percentage of people who are confident it’ll be safe to travel domestically again in six months has risen from 79% to 81% in the past week:

  • 85% of US travellers
  • 74% of Brazilian travellers

In APAC, this figure improved from 86% to 89% over the past week:

  • 82% of Australian travellers
  • 61% of Japanese travellers
  • 86% of South Korean travellers

In EMEA, the figure has stayed the same at 82%:

  • 91% of Dutch travellers
  • 87% of German travellers
  • 82% of UK travellers


“Traveller optimism is increasing week on week”

Gavin Harris, Commercial Director of Skyscanner’s Strategic Partnerships:

“Despite the uncertainty that still prevails around how and when travel will be possible again in many markets, our research shows that traveller optimism is increasing week on week.

“While overall search and booking volumes remain low comparing year-over-year, last week there were observed noticeable lifts in searches for key holiday periods in the latter half of the year.

“A large majority of travellers believe that it will be safe to travel again domestically within six months, and when it comes to international travel, European travellers remain the most optimistic.” 

Please visit our blog next Wednesday where we’ll share our data and insights from the past seven days.

And if you missed last week's, you can find it right here