September 11, 2020

Weekly Travel Insights – 11 September

Welcome to our now bi-weekly travel insights report, where we share some of our latest search and redirect data, as well as travel industry trends and hot topics.

Americans look to travel abroad in 2021

With Fall having arrived, many US travellers are looking to 2021 for their next summer vacation.

  • Americans are turning their gaze towards summer 2021, with search volumes steadily rising, including a 25% increase during the last month alone.1

  • The top destinations searched for travel in summer 2021 reflect a renewed interest in international travel, with six of the top 10 outside the US.2

  • Americans continue to embrace domestic travel, with the TSA recording nearly one million passengers checking in on Friday 4 September.3

In the last month, the top 10 searches by Americans on Skyscanner for travel in July and August 2021 were:

  1. London
  2. New York
  3. Paris
  4. Tokyo
  5. Rome
  6. Honolulu
  7. Los Angeles
  8. Papeete
  9. Orlando
  10. Athens

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Mark Crossey, US Traveller Expert at Skyscanner, comments:

“2021 looks like it’s going to be a bumper year for travel, with so many Americans desperate to get out and explore the world again. Some are reorganising a ‘missed’ trip, some are using unspent funds and vacation days to upgrade to bucket-list getaways, and some are embracing Americana, using internal flights to discover a variety of hidden gems on US soil.

“Our data shows increasing interest in travel generally with growing search and booking numbers, and a more even split between domestic and international destinations in July and August of next year. US vacationers are obviously keen to enjoy their best-loved international hotspots, with traditional favourites London and Paris taking the top and third spots.”

Australians are flocking to London next year

With recent news that Australians aren’t allowed to leave the country until mid-December, here’s where Australian travellers are searching and booking for the end of the year and 2021.

  • London is the number one destination (bookings) in 2021 on Skyscanner.au, suggesting reconnecting with friends and families is of great importance.4

  • International destinations Tokyo, Bali and London dominated the rankings last year, whereas four of the top 10 destinations for 2021 are in Australians’ own backyard.5

  • January is the most searched month in 2021 for travel, suggesting the desire for an overseas getaway during the height of summer holidays, or as soon as it's possible.6

  • Australians are optimistic about travel in 2021, with 60% believing it’ll be safe to travel abroad again in six months’ time.7

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Paul Whiteway, Senior Director for APAC at Skyscanner, comments:

“Postponed cultural events along with postponed holidays and pent-up wanderlust combine for an interesting year for Aussie travellers, with long haul and regional travel destinations in the top 10 list, particularly in the height of the summer school holidays. Travellers are taking advantage of the competitive offerings from providers who continue to stimulate bookings with attractive pricing and flexible policies.

“London, a mainstay for travelling Australians and the most booked destination for travel in 2021 affirms the affinity between the UK and Australia and suggests friends and families are looking to be reunited as soon as possible. We’re also seeing top regional destinations Tokyo and Seoul feature highly which would suggest Australians are looking forward to re-discovering regional destinations closer to home again.”

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Global traveller confidence is increasing

Here are the insights from our 23rd weekly pulse survey of thousands of travellers across the world.

Perceptions of international travel

For the third straight week, more people think the international travel situation is improving.

  • 35% think it’s getting better, up from 33% last week and 32% the week before.

  • 33% think it’s staying the same, up from 31% last week and 30% the week before.

  • 33% think it’s getting worse, down from 36% last week and 38% the week before.

On a regional level, travellers in AMER are much more optimistic about international travel than those in APAC and EMEA.

  • In AMER, 56% think it's improving, up from 51% last week and 49% the week before.

  • In APAC, 28% think it’s improving, up from 26% last week and 27% the week before.

  • In EMEA, 26% think it’s improving, compared to 27% last week and 24% the week before.

  • Fewer people across all regions think the situation is getting worse: just 16% in AMER (down from 19%), 41% in APAC (down from 46%) and 39% in EMEA (down from 42%).

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Perceptions of domestic travel

It’s a similar story for domestic travel. For the second week in a row, more people think the domestic situation is improving.

  • 34% think it’s getting better, up from 33% last week and 28% the week before.

  • 28% think it’s staying the same, the same figure as the past two weeks.

  • 38% think it’s getting worse, down from 39% last week and the week before.

On a regional level, travellers in APAC are more optimistic about domestic travel, followed by those in AMER and then EMEA. However, it’s worth noting that optimism from AMER travellers has been trending upwards for the last three weeks, while optimism in the other two regions has been generally trending the other way.

  • In APAC, 41% think it’s improving, compared to 45% last week and 39% the week before.

  • In AMER, 37% think it's improving, up from 33% last week and 31% the week before.

  • In EMEA, 30% think it’s improving, compared to 29% last week and 32% the week before.

  • The general trend in AMER is that fewer people think the situation is getting worse: 37%, down from 41% last week and 45% the week before.

  • In EMEA, the general trend is that more people think it’s getting worse, but it dropped this week: 39%, compared to 40% last week and 36% the week before.

  • In APAC, 33% think it’s getting worse, up from 31% last week, which dropped right down from 39% the week before. Before then, it had been trending steadily upwards for weeks.

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

 

Pulse survey from 17 – 24 August.

1. Searches for economy class, return travel in July and August 2021 from the US, created between 23 August 2020 and 6 September 2020, compared to searches made between 9 August 2020 and 23 August 2020.

2. Searches for economy class, return travel in July and August 2021 from the US, created between 9 August 2020 and 6 September 2020.

3. Figures released by www.tsa.gov.

4. Redirects (bookings) from Skyscanner for economy class, return travel from Australia, created on 22 August to 28 August for travel in 2021.

5. Redirects (bookings) from Skyscanner for economy class, return travel from Australia, created on 22 August to 28 August for travel in 2021, compared to redirects for the same week in 2019.

6. Searches based on which month is most popular for travel in 2021.

7. Weekly survey of Skyscanner global travellers (275 AU respondents) surveyed between 17 August 2020 and 24 August 2020.