COVID-19: Insights on Travel Impact, Europe #50

June 29, 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, as the industry stabilises. 

These insights are based on data collected on the 29th June, 2020. We will be reviewing our data on a regular basis in order to provide a 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 Travel Confidence Continues to Grow for European Destinations 

Greece has experienced a decline in year-over-year (YoY) searches since last week. This could in part be due to various countries across the globe beginning to open up air bridges, meaning that more destinations are available for travel. That said, Greece continues to be the country with the highest levels of travel intent (-32% YoY) in Europe, with Italy and Spain also displaying a steady growth in flight searches. 


YoY% Global Flight Searches to Key European Markets 

Global bookings to the region are a better sign of travel confidence, and generally continue to show signs of improvement. However, as expected, bookings are lagging behind searches as travellers research their next trip to available destinations, but may be uncertain of what they will be able to do once they arrive due to other restrictions in place. Greece is one of the only countries showing very similar percentages for searches and bookings, which is a good indication that they will be one of the first countries to benefit from tourism in the short term.  


YoY% Global Flight Bookings to Key European Markets

Germany Sees First Decline in Bookings Since May

A recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Germany has been linked to a meat processing plant near the town of Gütersloh. The outbreak caused regional authorities to reimpose local lockdowns for a week from the 23rd June. During this week, regional flight bookings to the country dropped for the first time since the beginning of May. Whilst bookings have dropped 77% below those being made at the same time last year, booking volumes are significantly higher than at their lowest point in May 2020. The number of travellers from the region booking trips to Germany has increased almost fivefold in this period.


YoY% European Flight Bookings to Germany

Travel Corridors Open Doors for Tourists 

As it stands, all visitors to the UK are required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival. As of early July, travel corridors will be introduced meaning travellers from named countries will be permitted to travel to the UK without going into quarantine. The same will apply to UK travellers entering the stated destinations. These are expected to include France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Belgium, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Turkey, and Finland.

With these announcements pending, it is too early to state the impact on travel intent, however, searches will almost certainly increase at a quicker rate than bookings, whilst travellers make conclusions as to which destinations they are most confident in travelling to. As you can see, there are peaks in regional flight searches for travel in July 2020, and April 2021 to selected destinations (anticipated travel corridors with the UK). The removal of the required quarantine period will play a huge part in the search and booking levels moving forward, but we are already seeing huge increases in travel intent for the coming months. 


Future Departure Months for Regional Flight Searches to Selection of Potential Travel Corridor Destinations – Last 14 Days 

We will continue to share more insights as we monitor the situation. It is clear, globally, that travellers are eager to plan trips for this year, but in some cases, travel confidence is still low. Air bridges and travel corridors in Europe are having a positive impact on demand, and over the coming weeks, this trend is expected to continue as more ‘quarantine free’ routes are determined. These forward looking insights will hopefully help travel marketers shape their strategies as the industry recovers from this outbreak. 

For the rest of the COVID-19 insights series click here.

Sojern Partners with The Hotels Network in European Webinar

Last week, Sojern’s Senior Sales Director, Strategic Accounts – Josh Beckwith, joined The Hotels Network to discuss the best way to prepare your hotel’s online strategy. The webinar featured guest speaker – Jonathon Liu, Director of Revenue Strategy & Marketing Operations at glh, who answered questions around recovery, and shared what has been effective for glh. 

To watch a recording of the webinar click here

Download the slides here

About Suzy Ley

Suzy is Sojern's Marketing Manager, EMEA and APAC and works in the London office. With a background in Fashion, Technology and Interiors PR, as well as Marketing in the security industry, travel is her true passion and has led her to her previous role at Singapore Airlines, and current role at Sojern. She loves all things creative and can't resist taking part in an escape room.  

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