According to a new Sojern research while there are signs that some European countries are looking to incrementally relax their lockdowns, global flight searches and bookings continue to plateau.
There are some small upticks—such as flight searches to Switzerland, and flight bookings to Greece—but overall, all countries are showing that flight searches and bookings well down year over year.
The easing of lockdown restrictions currently includes the partial opening of some non-essential businesses, as well as schools, as a first step. We anticipate that travel will be one of the last industries that benefits from the easing of lockdown restrictions.
Global Flight Searches to Key European Markets Global Flight Bookings to Key European Markets
An Analysis of Hotel Searches and Bookings: Comparing the UK and Germany
One of the European countries that will not be easing lockdown restrictions in the near future is the UK. The government announced a further three weeks of lockdown as there has been no evidence to show that the country’s infection rate has peaked. As such, hotel searches and bookings are way down year over year, especially from International Origins.
Hotel Searches and Bookings to the UK
However, we do see hints at recovery when we look at Germany, whose government claims to have their outbreak ‘under control’. With their infection rate down to 0.7 as of April 17th, this means that each infected individual passed the virus to fewer than one other person. As a result of this, this week, they are starting to open smaller shops as a way of easing their lockdown.
When looking at hotel search and booking data for Germany, one can see that there is a slight upward trend in both domestic searches and bookings for hotels in Germany. While still down year over year, this uptick is a positive sign, and aligns with the theory that travel recovery will begin first domestically, and then spread to regional and international travel.
It is important to note though, that Germany’s easing of lockdown restrictions remains very gradual. The government has issued a global travel warning until at least the end of April. Domestic tourism is forbidden, and restaurants remain closed. As such, the uptick in domestic searches and bookings are likely for dates further in the future.
Hotel Searches and Bookings to Germany
Last-minute Travel Searchers and Bookers Grow During Recovery in Germany
When one looks at January 2020 hotel search and booking data, and compares it to March 2020, he can observe an increase in the number of searches and bookings that take place within a one-day window for all cities. There are also slight increases in the number of searches and bookings take place within two to seven days of travel.
Travelers appear hesitant to book travel for future months, and may potentially be leaving travel plans to the last minute before booking, in case there’s anything that could cause them to alter their plans.
January 2020 Hotel Search and Booking Lead Time to Key German Cities
March 2020 Hotel Search and Booking Lead Time to Key German Cities