July 2, 2020

Weekly Travel Insights – 2 July

As destinations across the world begin to relax their borders, we’re seeing an increase in bookings to many of these newly reopened countries.

The main reasons for travel are to enjoy a holiday and reunite with family, especially in countries that previously had strict lockdown measures. We’ve seen travellers globally gravitate towards both traditional tourist destinations and popular coastal cities.

Most popular destinations

These are the most popular return economy flights booked on Skyscanner, globally, between 1 May 2020 and 21 June 2020, for travel between July and December 2020:

  • Jeju, South Korea (2.88% of bookings) 
  • Palma, Spain (2.26% of bookings) 
  • Bangkok, Thailand (2.22% of bookings) 
  • New York, USA (1.79% of bookings) 
  • Athens, Greece (1.67% of bookings) 
  • Istanbul, Turkey (1.56% of bookings) 
  • Lisbon, Portugal (1.56% of bookings) 
  • London, England (1.49% of bookings) 
  • Tenerife, Spain (1.29% of bookings) 
  • Barcelona, Spain (1.28% of bookings) 

Highest MoM increases

These are the return economy flights with the largest month-on-month increase in bookings during May and June 2020, across Skyscanner globally:

  • Málaga, Spain (145.81% MoM increase) 
  • Palma, Spain (131.49% MoM increase) 
  • Barcelona, Spain (95.64% MoM increase) 
  • Tenerife, Spain (77.98% MoM increase) 
  • Rome, Italy (66.40% MoM increase) 
  • Madrid, Spain (64.40% MoM increase) 
  • Lisbon, Portugal (61.11% MoM increase) 
  • Athens, Greece (58.48% MoM increase) 
  • Amsterdam, The Netherlands (37.37% MoM increase) 
  • Istanbul, Turkey (36.79% MoM increase) 

Traveller confidence falls for the third consecutive week

Here are the insights from our 15th weekly pulse survey of nearly 12,000 travellers across the world, as well as key market trends. 

After the last two weeks of declining traveller confidence, the trend continues as fewer people believe the global and domestic situations are getting better.

A traveller waits at an airport with their suitcase

Perceptions of global travel

The number of travellers who believe the global situation is improving has dipped.

  • Just 48% believe it's improving, compared to 57% last week and 60% the week before.

  • More people believe the situation is staying the same: 25% this week, compared to 24% last week and 22% the week before.

  • There’s a big increase in the number of people who think the situation is getting worse: 27% this week, compared to 19% last week and 18% the week before.

  • In the Americas, the number of people who believe the situation is improving dropped from 54% to 44%. In EMEA, it dropped from 62% to 53%, and in APAC it fell from 43% to 34%.

  • In all three regions, more people think it's either staying the same or getting worse.

Perceptions of domestic travel

The number of travellers who think the situation is getting better has fallen, with more saying it’s either staying the same or getting worse.

  • 61% think it's getting better, compared to 69% last week and 69% the week before.

  • 19% believe it’s staying the same, compared to 17% last week and 16% the week before.

  • 20% think it’s getting worse, rising from 15% last week and 15% the week before.

  • In the Americas, the number of people thinking it’s getting better hasn’t changed from last week, remaining at 30%.

  • This figure has dropped from 75% to 70% in EMEA, and from 73% to 69% in APAC.

  • In all three regions, more people than last week believe the situation is staying the same.

  • The number of people in the Americas who think the situation is getting worse has actually dipped, from 52% to 50%. This figure has risen in EMEA (9% to 12%) and APAC (10% to 12%).

Horseshoe Bend at Cage in the United States

Regional travel insights

AMER

Canadians are the most confident in their domestic travel situation, when compared to Americans, Mexicans and Brazilians.

  • 78% of Canadians believe the situation is improving (up from 71% last week), compared to just 33% of Americans (down from 39%), 19% of Mexicans (down from 25%) and 20% of Brazilians (down from 24%).

  • An increase in infections in some countries across the region in the past few weeks has led to more people thinking the situation is getting worse. 

Record numbers of screened passengers in the US

  • The TSA reported the busiest weekend in air travel in months, with over 2.4 million people travelling through airports last weekend. Four out of seven days in the past week surpassed 600K daily screened passengers.

  • Internal data shows that solo travel currently represents most bookings (73%), followed by couples (14%), families (9%), and groups (4%).

Latent travel demand in Brazil

  • Price and health / safety are top of mind when it comes to travel. Reasons for not travelling after restrictions are lifted include the risk of getting infected (51%), unfavourable dollar and euro currency exchange (33%), and putting travelling family members at risk (31%). 

  • Despite this outlook, around 50% of Brazilians plan on travelling up to six months after quarantine measures are lifted. 64% will travel by plane, 19% with their own car and 11% with a car rental. 

Incentives in Mexico

  • In an effort to drive local tourism, the country is planning to offer incentives for post-COVID travel. These range from free hotel stays and car rental to discounts at theme parks, golf courses and spas.

Juliano Lopez, Head of Research and Insights AMER at Skyscanner, comments:

“As states continue to reopen, we’re seeing Americans resuming travel. We saw a
29% month-over-month increase in flight bookings between April and May, with June booking numbers having already surpassed May levels.

The main reasons for travel are to reunite with family and enjoy a vacation, with travellers booking flights to both traditional tourist destinations as well as beachside cities.

“We’ve observed an increased interest in the past few weeks around beach and nature-focused destinations as travellers seek outdoor activities.” 

APAC

Some markets are stabilising, some are facing recurrence

  • COVID-19 cases continue to stabilise in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, driving further government plans to open local travel attractions and promote domestic travel. On the other hand, the number of new cases are still increasing in Australia and South Korea, which might mean further distancing measures are implemented again in areas with emerging hotspots.

A train travels across a bridge in Ella, Sri Lanka

International travel sentiment is getting worse

  • For the first time since April, the number of respondents believing the global situation is getting worse has exceeded those who believe it’s getting better.  This is likely due to rising COVID-19 spikes in global markets like US and Brazil.

  • While 67% believe the situation in their own country is improving, this week there was a decline in domestic situation perception from markets like Australia and South Korea, in-line with the recent increase in local cases.

Travel bubbles to allow business travellers

  • Taiwan has relaxed some measures related to international travel. From 25 June, it will partially reopen to transit passengers, who can apply to enter the country with a 14-day quarantine.

  • Japan and Vietnam agreed to ease travel restrictions gradually with only business travel allowed.

EMEA

Growth is stabilising in EMEA

  • Following four weeks of continuous double-digit growth in revenue and sessions, EMEA performance is still improving but at a slightly slower pace.

  • Recovery proves to be ‘bumpy’, but the overall direction is positive, still driven by travel within the region as people continue to search for flights departing during this summer – and we see average lead time continue to decrease accordingly.

A view of Florence in Italy

Domestic confidence remains buoyant for now with work to promote local getaways ramping up

  • Countries are launching domestic tourism campaigns and different initiatives to ensure travellers feel safe to get out there. Two example are VisitBritain’s Good to Go campaign, and Spain’s Spain for Sure campaign, featuring the royal family.

  • Pulse surveys show that domestic confidence has taken a slight WoW knock across France and Germany in-line with localised outbreaks. However, the vast majority of our EMEA users still believe the situation is improving.

 

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.

 

*Pulse survey based on 11,500 respondents from 22-28 June.