COVID-19: Insights on Travel Impact, APAC #22

April 28, 2020

With our access to real-time traveller audiences and unmatched visibility into global travel demand, we’re in a unique position to share the current travel trends at the forefront of marketers’ minds. In this blog series, we’ll take a look at the data in order to aid travel marketers in their assessment of this worldwide event. They can use these trends to inform their marketing strategies during this period and be prepared for the recovery once the situation stabilises. 

Whilst no-one can anticipate the full impact of these exceptional circumstances, our data can provide some insight into how travellers are responding to the current situation, the more long-term impact that COVID-19 will have on destinations, and when the first signs of recovery start to appear. 

Since the last edition of our APAC findings, this week’s APAC trends include an uptick of flight bookings to Fiji, Hong Kong showing signs of recovery and Japan being a likely go to destination in 2021.

These insights are based on data collected on the 27th April, 2020. We will be reviewing our data on a weekly basis in order to provide a regular view of trends and patterns in consumer behaviour. Sojern’s insights are based on over 350 million traveller profiles and billions of travel intent signals, however it does not capture one hundred percent of the travel market.

APAC Flight Searches and Bookings Continue their Plateau

While there are signs that some Asia-Pacific countries such as China, South Korea, and Vietnam are looking to incrementally relax their lockdowns, flight searches and bookings across Asia Pacific continue to plateau. In the past week, while we see some major airline carriers going into administration in Australia, Singapore Airlines said that it will halt most flights until the end of June. However, we did notice that there are some upticks – such as flight bookings to Fiji – but overall, all countries are showing that flight searches and bookings are well down year over year.


Global Flight Searches to Key APAC Markets 

Global Flight Bookings to Key APAC Markets

An Analysis of Hotel Searches and Bookings: Comparing Singapore and Hong Kong 

Within Asia Pacific, it is clear that Singapore will not be easing lockdown restrictions. The government announced a further four weeks of semi-lockdown (circuit-breaker) as there has been no evidence to show that the country’s infection rate has peaked. As such, we see that hotel searches and bookings are way down year over year, especially from International Origins.


Hotel Searches and Bookings to Singapore 

However, we do see hints of recovery when we look at Hong Kong, whose government has now considered easing social-distancing measures following its third day of zero new COVID-19 cases in the last week. 

It is important to note though, that Hong Kong’s easing of lockdown restrictions remains very gradual. The government has issued an advisory that all travellers arriving into Hong Kong would be tested twice upon arrival – once after entering Hong Kong and again at the end of the mandatory two-week isolation. 


Hotel Searches and Bookings to Hong Kong

Into the Future with Japan  

While it is clear that bookings are down because of the outbreak, we can understand how traveller sentiment is changing by monitoring what future dates travellers are willing to travel and we see a clear uptick in travel to Japan in 2021. This could be linked to confidence returning in travellers to visit Japan or that the Tokyo Olympics, which initially was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic is said to open on July 23 next year


Future Departure Months to APAC Countries  

These forward looking insights will hopefully help travel marketers shape their strategies when the industry starts to recover from this outbreak. For the rest of the COVID-19 insights series click here


About teesta.raha

Teesta is Sojern's Senior PR & Content Manager, EMEA and APAC and is based in Singapore. When not working, you will find her traveling, doing yoga, reading and occasionally, golfing.

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