With our access to real-time traveler audiences and unmatched visibility into global travel demand, we are in a unique position to share current travel trends at the forefront of marketers’ minds. In this series we take a look at the data in order to aid travel marketers in their assessment of this worldwide event. Marketers can use these trends to inform their strategies during this period and be prepared for the recovery once the situation stabilizes.
For many around the world, it continues to feel as if we’re taking one step forward but two steps back. Whilst many countries and states extended shelter-in-place orders, they are also beginning to prepare for recovery: the World Health Organization set six conditions for ending lockdown, Denmark reopened schools, and there has been a rabid mobilization of clinical research, with close to 500 clinical trials underway or completed across 34 countries. Yet Japan and Singapore are seeing a resurgence in cases, Facebook announced their employees will work from home through the summer (along with no large physical events until July 2021), and industries continue to lose billions.
This week, we took a look at one of the industries in travel that has perhaps been hit the hardest – attractions, and how they’re responding and preparing for recovery. In conversation with Scott Zimmerman, CEO of Xola, and Catlyn Origitano, Director of SMB and Tourism of Sojern, we share the learnings from European Attractions, and what tours, activities, and attractions can do now.
The most visited continent in 2019, Europe, is in the midst of “flattening the curve”. Europe is further along than the Americas but behind some countries in APAC, yet other regions look to them for ideas and learnings as they slowly remove restrictions. As you can see from the chart above, even the major attractions in Europe – with ample marketing dollars and brand awareness – saw a steep decline in searches as soon as shelter-in-place guidelines were announced.
Thus, many European attractions have turned their attention to their domestic markets, and are even sharing virtual tours and experiences to stay top of mind (a great example comes from local zoos, as animals visit one another). As restrictions are lifted, there is a hunger to get out of the house, and local attractions – from hiking trails to theme parks – may see a huge jump in interest from their local communities. Parents especially will look for things to do with their children, and will want reassurance that facilities are clean and not crowded.
This will result in more last-minute bookings with shorter lead times – three out of four travelers are likely to book same-day or the day before. To take advantage of this trend, attractions are working with their local governments to ensure they’re following up-to-date social distancing guidelines, communicating the cleanliness of their facilities and flexible booking policies, and thinking through new experiences to provide locals.
Interested in more insights and recommendations on what you can do now for your tour or experience? In our fourth webinar, we share more in-depth trends and best practices for your digital marketing campaigns.
You can also download the slides here.We’ll continue to share more insights as we monitor the situation and provide recommendations in this series. For the rest of the COVID-19 insights series click here.