COVID-19: Insights on Travel Impact, Europe #24

May 5, 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. 

These insights are based on data collected on the 4th May, 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.

Global Flight Searches and Bookings Remain Much the Same as Previous Weeks

Flight searches and bookings remain down, similar to the previous few weeks. As travel is essentially at a standstill, this is expected. 


Global Flight Searches to Key European Markets 

Global Flight Bookings to Key European Markets

Spain Begins a Phased Easing of Lockdown Restrictions

One of the most positive developments over the past week has been the dramatic drop of deaths due to COVID-19 in Spain. As a result, the government is starting to slowly and incrementally ease the lockdown restrictions that have been in place since mid-March.

As a first step, people were allowed outdoors for exercise this past weekend. But this is just the beginning of a gradual easing of the restrictions, which are on track to be completed by the end of June. Hotels will be allowed to reopen on 11 May, however, one of the last restrictions to be lifted will be travel between regions within Spain, which is expected at the end of June at the earliest.

How has this impacted travel intent within Spain? When we look at flight searches, we do start to see an uptick in domestic flight searches from May, and more or less increasing into 2021. It is worth noting that 90% of searches happening now are for travel in Q2 and Q3. While travelling within Spain will currently not be permitted until Q3, this is a positive indication that people are dreaming of travel. 


Domestic Flight Searches Spain

When we look at hotel searches, we see a very gradual increase in hotel searches, although they are still well down by 65% YoY. We will be keeping track of hotel searches and bookings in the coming weeks as restrictions continue to ease in Spain.


Hotel Searches and Bookings to Spain

Sojern’s COVID-19 Webinar Series: Un Enfoque en España y LATAM

Last week, we hosted a Spanish-language webinar with partners from Turespana, Kempinski and SOUNDWALKRS to discuss how COVID-19 is impacting Spain and LATAM. Watch the replay here:

Poland Sees Uptick in Hotel Searches as Government Reopens Hotels

Several countries have shown upward trends in the last few weeks since the easing of their lockdown, and we mentioned in previous weeks, the upticks in travel intent for countries such as Austria and Czech Republic. Poland is the latest country to join this group.

Poland announced that Hotels could reopen on 4 May, followed by attractions such as shopping malls and museums. This is in addition to certain outdoor spaces and parks recently reopening. When we look at hotel searches and bookings to Poland, we do indeed see an uptick in hotel searches in particular. 

While domestic hotel searches were down 70% at the beginning of April, we do see this improve to now being down 58% YoY. Searches from outside Poland remain very low, but this is expected as travel restrictions remain tight in most parts of Europe. Again, we will continue to track this over the coming weeks 


Hotel Searches and Bookings to Poland

We will continue to share more insights as we monitor the situation. As some European countries begin to ease their lockdown restrictions, we are seeing slight upticks in domestic travel intent. 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.

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