April 9, 2020

Weekly Travel Insights – 10 April

Welcome to the first of our weekly insight reports. Starting today, then published every Wednesday, we’ll share our learnings from the previous week as our industry responds and adapts to Covid-19.

These posts will include:

• Top trends and insights from our global search and redirect (booking) data, showing if, where and when people are looking to travel.

• Insights from a weekly pulse survey of more than 5,000 travellers in 17 countries.

• Commentary from our industry experts.

Latest data trends

• Flight searches and redirects across our website and app are severely impacted by travel bans and lockdown measures.

• In the UK, there’s been an increase in searches for long-haul destinations compared to last year. Here are the most popular international destinations from the start of lockdown compared to two weeks before, then compared with the same times in 2019.

  23/3 to 6/4 2020 9/3 to 23/3 2020 23/3 to 6/4 2019 9/3 to 23/3 2019
1 Islamabad Islamabad Alicante Malaga
2 Tenerife New York  Malaga Alicante
3 Bangkok Hong Kong Barcelona Barcelona
4 New York Alicante Amsterdam Amsterdam 
5 Alicante Dubai New York New York

• There’s been a 46% YOY increase in the share of one-way travel from the UK in March. This is likely due to people returning to their home countries.

What travellers are thinking

• There’s European optimism about the future of travel in the mid-term, with 75% of those surveyed believing it’ll be safe to travel abroad in six months.

• This figures drops to 60% of Americans and just 51% in Asia Pacific.

• In the UK, this figure rises to 84%, shown by a spike in searches for Christmas travel on 29 March.

“There’s optimism for the future”

Travellers and travel providers are facing an undefined period of unprecedented uncertainty. Our Travel Insight data tool reflects this, with travel interest and demand down across the board.

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

“Comparative analysis of the top searched destinations in the run up to the UK lockdown reveals long-haul replaced popular European Easter holiday destinations, particularly Spain.

“But there is optimism for future, with over three quarters of UK travellers believing it will be safe to travel abroad again within six months. It’s too early to assess the impact of the updated FCO guidance issued this week and uncertainty will remain until there is clarity on when travel bans will be lifted.”

Please come back on Wednesday for the next post in our insights series.