Editorial Page

Domestic Travel On The Rise

June 10, 2020,

You can’t keep a good person down or cooped up for too long.

After what seemed like forever, months of staying at home during the pandemic, Americans are heading to vacation destinations like Florida and the national parks.

It’s just a start but regarding the travel industry and the challenges it faced during the current pandemic, any good news is welcomed.

As reported on May 5, 2020, at cnbc.com, “A survey published last week from Longwoods International, a market research firm focused on the travel industry, found that 82 percent of Americans have already changed their travel plans for the next six months because of the coronavirus. Fifty percent said they would cancel trips, and 45 percent expect to reduce travel in that time frame, according to the survey of 1,000 American adults.”

Temperature checks at airports will most likely become the norm.

Local travel is becoming more popular.

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The question becomes, when will it be safe enough to travel again? Anywhere, especially by plane.

On April 28, 2020, the team at forbes.com surmises, “We’re at a momentous point in time in the COVID-19 pandemic. Today the United States will pass the milestone for 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases. But studies strongly suggest that the official number is vastly undercounted.”

They add that a recent survey by WebMD found that 93 percent of Americans who were symptomatic during the last 30 days did not get tested. Nearly four in 10 said they were denied a test because they did not meet testing criteria.

So as American’s begin to dip one toe in the water, in terms of local destinations, a small recovery appears to be under way.

Let’s turn our attention to Trip Advisor.

Tourism During COVID-19: Tripadvisor Releases Findings of a Staged Recovery

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Recovery Demonstrates Significant Pent Up Demand for Travel, a Shift in Traveler and Dining Behaviors and Domestic-First Activity

NEEDHAM, Mass., June 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Tripadvisor®, the world’s largest travel platform, today released the findings of a multi-month study that analyzed consumer travel sentiment and first party behavioral data related to the ongoing pandemic. The report outlines a five-stage recovery for the travel and hospitality industry, inclusive of the period of decline created by the pandemic through the anticipated market recovery and the return of international travel.

The research paper, entitled “Beyond COVID-19: The Road to Recovery for the Travel Industry,” can be read in full, for free, here: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Covid19WhitepaperMay2020.

This research paper also explores and identifies where the tourism and hospitality industry is on this road to recovery as well as 1) outlines the significant pent up demand that exists in the marketplace for travel and dining, 2) details the change in travel and dining behaviors resulting from the ongoing pandemic and 3) illustrates recent search and traffic patterns on Tripadvisor globally related to the crisis.

A snapshot of some key findings:

  • New Zealand, Germany and Switzerland among first markets to enter the Emerge stage, with restaurant searches on Tripadvisor resurging strongly
  • Consumer desire to travel remains resilient – around two in five (41%) consumers are optimistic that they will take the same or more trips than last year
  • Shorter trips to destinations closer to home are a recurring theme, with nearly half (44%) of consumers saying they are more likely to take a road trip, and two thirds (61%) saying they are most comfortable taking a road trip for 3-5 days
  • Consumers are 218% more likely to want to take a trip where they can relax compared to before the pandemic1, and nearly two thirds (59%) would prefer to go somewhere off the beaten path
  • Nature and beach destinations on the rise as Tripadvisor sees spike in North American traffic researching Campgrounds, Ranches and Beach Motels, while Myrtle Beach, San Diego and Key West are among the most popular domestic U.S. destination searches in recent weeks

“We’re encouraged to see positive signs of recovery and are here to help our travelers and partners understand the pathway through this pandemic with clear insights and tangible data,” said Kanika Soni, chief commercial officer for Tripadvisor, Inc. “Our path to recovery will depend on the steps the industry takes to prepare for the road ahead – not just in terms of new standards and practices but also in how we collectively educate and engage consumers in a new, more thoughtful way of traveling.”

The five stages to recovery

The Tripadvisor in-house market research and insights teams have outlined five distinct stages of tourism impact and recovery:

  1. Decline – Travel declines sharply as widespread restrictions enforced
  2. Plateau – Sharp decline in bookings levels out, but travelers start dreaming their next trip
  3. Emerge – Easing of travel restrictions begins, early signs of recovery in dining sector
  4. Domestic Travel – Travelers book their first trips away, but stay close to home
  5. International Travel – Border restrictions ease, and international travel begins to rebound

An industry eager for actionable insights

Tripadvisor continues to leverage its research and insights to educate the tourism and hospitality industry and brands on how to appropriately attract more consumers as stay-at-home orders begin to lift globally. Media buyers, hoteliers, restaurateurs, and tour operators alike can gain functional advice on how to best serve their customers’ needs in each stage of the recovery. Across the board, safety, flexibility and transparency are key to rebuilding traveler and diner confidence.

For additional information on the impact COVID-19 has had on the tourism industry, visit our webinar series found at: https://www.tripadvisor.com/TripAdvisorInsights/w5933.

Note to Editor:
The data cited in this report was gathered and analyzed from two key sources:

  • A Tripadvisor Consumer Sentiment Tracking Survey, based on data drawn from an online survey of consumers, in partnership with Qualtrics, conducted approximately every two weeks from 3/27 through 5/18 across six countries worldwide.
  • Tripadvisor site behavioral data sourced from first party traffic data on the Tripadvisor platform.

About Tripadvisor
Tripadvisor, the world’s largest travel platform*, helps 463 million travelers each month** make every trip their best trip. Travelers across the globe use the Tripadvisor site and app to browse more than 860 million reviews and opinions of 8.7 million accommodations, restaurants, experiences, airlines and cruises. Whether planning or on a trip, travelers turn to Tripadvisor to compare low prices on hotels, flights and cruises, book popular tours and attractions, as well as reserve tables at great restaurants. Tripadvisor, the ultimate travel companion, is available in 49 markets and 28 languages.

The subsidiaries and affiliates of Tripadvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP) own and operate a portfolio of websites and businesses, including the following travel media brands:

www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bokun.io, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com,www.thefork.com (including www.lafourchette.com, www.eltenedor.com, and www.bookatable.co.uk), www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.housetrip.com, www.jetsetter.com, www.niumba.com, www.onetime.com, www.oyster.com, www.seatguru.com, www.singleplatform.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.tingo.com, www.vacationhomerentals.com and www.viator.com.

*   Source: Jumpshot for Tripadvisor Sites, worldwide, November 2019

** Source: Tripadvisor internal log files, average monthly unique visitors, Q3 2019


1 Tripadvisor Consumer Sentiment Survey Wave 2, Qualtrics; 2,291 respondents, U.S., U.K., Australia, Italy, Japan, Singapore; 4/7-4/12

SOURCE Tripadvisor

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