journalist, tech entrepreneur
Travelers are shifting to private properties instead of crowded hotels and resorts. Many prefer driving to flying and have returned to using travel advisors and trip insurance. As the industry is relentlessly transforming, businesses need to follow emerging trends to stay afloat. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk about the hottest emerging trends in the travel industry with Tatiana Buyanova, a head of business development at Travelpayouts, an affiliate marketing network focused on travel, shared insights on five emerging trends.
Forced to stay within the borders of their own countries, travelers will start exploring their surrounding regions and cities. As soon as it’s more or less safe to leave the house, people will want to make up for the downtime and look for domestic travel opportunities. For example, go on road trips, visit family, escape the town by travelling to the countryside, and so on.
It’s expected that countries will gradually lift travel restrictions and domestic travel may be allowed first. Right now, in China, there are more than 5,000 daily domestic flights, while international flights are multiples less:
The example of Turkey shows that domestic tourism will return earlier than international travel. Turkish Airlines has drafted a flight plan and will resume domestic flights in June and gradually resume international flights during June, July, and August.
According to statistics on hotel reservations in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, and Germany, domestic tourism in Europe is also recovering faster than international tourism:
Domestic and regional tourism is one of the main trends in the post-coronavirus travel world, and we described it in detail in the article below
In the face of uncertainty, it’s difficult for tourists to plan their trips in the same way as before, which affects booking windows. To help customers make purchases with fewer risks, travel companies have changed the terms of return or exchange. For example, United Airlines offers a flexible window on new and existing bookings until September 2020.
In April 2020, extremely short booking windows dominated. With gradual normalization, we in Europe faced booking window changes. The number of bookings within 2 to 30 days before the trip has grown, while the number of reservations with a booking window of more than 91 days falls every week:
According to the ADARA Traveler Trends Tracker, booking windows in the United States have also undergone a change:
You can also check data for EMEA, APAC, and China.
Family leisure still brings more flight bookings than solo tourists, couples, or business travelers. As for hotel stays, business travelers made more bookings than leisure tourists up until recently, but, as of May 4, 2020, the booking volume has been evenly distributed between all three. You can find more data from ADARA research below:
The ratio of travelers for leisure and business depends on the region. In EMEA, the situation is the opposite to the US, as more people fly for business purpose than for leisure. You can follow the travel purposes in the constantly updated Adara report.
Since the emergence of COVID-19, travel has taken on a different nature. There has been a 93% decrease in the number of air passengers, ground transportation has also been largely reduced, and cruises have been cancelled, as people are cautious of crowded places. What transport modes will rebound the fastest once the COVID-19 pandemic is over?
Flights might first open up between safe corridors, such as Germany to Austria, for example. While some travelers canceled their vacation plans for at least six months, others are seeking low airfares for existing flights and are ready to travel as soon as the current restrictions are lifted.
Ground transportation has also experienced up to a 90% drop in major cities around the world, as people are being asked to avoid crowded places and maintain self-isolation. Operators have to comply with strict hygiene protocols, limit the number of passengers, and consistently check their health.
Private mobility may be on the rise over the long term, as travelers feel safer in privately owned vehicles and don’t want their trip to depend on flight cancellations. As a result, drive-to destinations will increase in popularity. The Longwoods survey showed that 22% of those who changed their vacation plans for this year switched their form of transportation to driving instead of flying.
Cruises will also become safer by introducing more procedures to control onboard illness and extend onboard medical capabilities.
What kinds of products will see a surge in the coming months and years?
According to industry experts, travelers are more likely to opt for these types of trips during the remainder of the year:
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