A data-based industry impact analysis focusing on the Tourism sector
Reply leverages Data and Analytics to gain insight into the impact of the novel coronavirus on society, consumers and industries. Using the Quentin Search Data tool developed by TD Reply, which aggregates data from Google Trends and Google Ads, this report focuses on the change in demand for international as well as domestic travel and how this impacts the Tourism Industry.
This report is in no way intended to distract from the fact that the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus is primarily a human tragedy affecting hundreds of thousands of people.
As the situation evolves rapidly, please note that this page reflects the data collected up until 29 May 2020.
Following a very strong year for global Tourism, 2020’s decrease in international travel due to COVID-19 related measures is particularly striking. With hotels closed, planes grounded and many destinations unreachable by travellers, the Tourism Industry is experiencing a major shake-up.
Interest in long-haul travel is severely affected, especially in countries that experienced higher case numbers. In the countries where COVID-19 broke out later, consumers wanted information about their long-haul travel plans and how to deal with them, which prompted an extreme peak of interest. The same interest spike was not noticed where COVID-19 arrived earlier.
EU-5 CONSUMER INTEREST IN TRAVEL
On the contrary, countries rapidly affected by COVID-19 showed a sharp decline in travel interest just after the implementation of measures against the spread of the disease. As fear and uncertainty dominated, holiday plans quickly lost priority.
Data retrieved from Quentin, TD Reply’s Search Data tool, across 3 EU markets (ES, IT and FR). CW15-20 2019 vs CW15-20 2020.
Fears surrounding the novel Coronavirus, border closures and other measures have already hit the Aviation Industry particularly hard, putting it under great financial pressure. In the longer term, stronger regulation, low demand and low airline equity could increase the cost of air travel to the consumer – the end of low-cost airfares could be approaching.
INVESTMENT IN AIRLINES
Short-haul trips require less planning. They usually aren’t booked much time in advance, which may be the reason why there is no initial peak in searches after the lockdown.
EU-5 CONSUMER INTEREST IN SHORT-HAUL TRAVEL
While the short-haul interest in Italy is significantly lower than in 2019 (with a total slump of -73%), interest in Germany seems to be growing again (although remaining under -50%).
Germany has been one of the countries less affected by COVID-19 and is now slowly beginning to return to normality, which makes consumers rekindle holiday plans (+57%, CW15-20 2019 vs 2020). However, continued restrictions placed on international Tourism are shifting the interest focus onto domestic travel – as it is also happening in Italy, where restrictions begin to be lifted (-12%). Interest remains low in other countries – Spain -69%, France: -50%, UK: -60%, USA: -42%.
INCREASE IN DOMESTIC TOURISM
As mass Tourism and weekend vacations decline, city dwellers will be able to "reclaim" their cities. On the other hand, a smaller offer leads to higher prices, making international travel a luxury for a few. As of now, "staycations" could stimulate new interest in domestic day trips and hidden places.
ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF TRANSPORT
Other means of transport will benefit from the increased concern and regulation around air travel. Trains, car rentals, boats and buses could be gaining passengers in the long term, since people would prefer to travel shorter distances in a more manageable environment.
RISE OF SLOW TRAVEL
Interest in long-haul destinations is still there, but people may prefer longer vacations considering the increased travel controls between countries.
NEW TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY
Touchless check-in: voice and gesture recognition are just a few of the solutions proposed for passengers’ contactless interaction at check-ins. Health tracking: Wearable trackers may be able to detect signs of COVID-19 in wearers even before the onset of symptoms, increasing travel safety.