- For U.S. travelers, Mexico remains No.1 international
- Florida remains most popular domestic destination, but interest
has fallen significantly in the first week of July
- Total search volume in the U.S. saw a slow recovery to 39% of
January level in mid-June, but fell again in July to 29% of
beginning of year value
- During the peak of the crisis in April, U.S. domestic searches
fell to just 11% of January level, while click-outs decreased by
nearly 91 percent
- At the end of June U.S. in-state travel increased by
approximately 13% over January
DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY July 8, 2020 – As U.S. state borders
begin to reopen and cities relax coronavirus pandemic restrictions,
Americans are looking forward to the possibility of a summer
vacation. As of mid-June searches for accommodations stood at 39%
of January 2020 volume, but that number fell to 29% in early July
as COVID-19 cases began to rise. Meanwhile, the total click-outs
has steadily recovered and, since mid-May, exceeds 2019 levels. The
signs of recovery are a welcome indicator following a nearly 90%
collapse in search volume in April.
These results come from a recent analysis conducted by
management consultancy McKinsey & Company using anonymized
search query data from hotel price comparison site trivago.
McKinsey evaluated general search requests and booking queries
measured by click-outs, where the user clicks on a link to a
selected offer, using data from January 2019 to July 5, 2020. This
analysis found that concerns over travel restrictions, distance and
crowding will play a major role in travel planning for the near
term and likely longer. The findings show that Americans’ travel
appetite is strongly correlated with COVID-19 case numbers. As
cases rise, searches for vacation accommodations decline.
Based on this analysis, a dashboard was developed to interpret
this data and identify travel behavior trends and critical success
factors for travel brands.
Domestic destinations remain popular The U.S.
travel appetite for domestic destinations versus overseas locations
was already high prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus,
averaging 70% to 80% of search volume. Since June, that figure has
increased to more than 90%. Additionally, more Americans are
traveling within their home states. Compared to late June 2019, the
share of U.S. travel within state of origin (intra-state) is 13%
higher this year.
“Demand for locations that are familiar and closer to home are
on the rise. This trend will likely continue post-pandemic,”
according to Axel Hefer, CEO trivago. “Outside of travel
restrictions, regional travel offers more control at an affordable
price, while still providing a chance to get away. Because
restrictions still vary based on jurisdiction, it makes sense that
we see an increase in intra-state travel.”
“Especially in the U.S., it is important to look at individual
developments on a state level. The market strongly focuses on
domestic travel, and we can see that travel recovery behavior
varies by state, especially because demand highly depends on the
local epidemiological situation. Understanding daily regional
developments is key for industry participants to succeed,” says
Nina Wittkamp, Associate Partner and travel expert at McKinsey
The top five domestic destinations for U.S. travelers has
remained largely consistent since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.
Florida is the most popular place, followed by California, Texas
and Nevada. South Carolina has replaced New York State in the top
five. Overall, the significant increase of COVID-19 cases in the
past three weeks has reversed the recovery trend in travel
searches, especially in the Southern states. When analyzing trends
in Arizona, South Carolina, Florida, and Texas, click-out
development strongly correlates with COVID-19 outbreaks. After the
first wave in March, the number of click-outs started to increase.
However, with the significant rise of new cases starting in June,
the click-outs fell again in those states, with decreases
ranging from 30% to 53% compared to mid-June.
Proximity equals popularity for international destinations
Data analysis also found that the popularity of a
destination before the pandemic still plays a big role, and
Americans are staying true to their traditional international
travel destinations of Mexico and Canada. Pre-pandemic search data
showed the United Kingdom as the third most popular locale based on
searches and click-outs followed by Italy, France, and Spain.
However, as lockdown measures were implemented, the Dominican
Republic moved up to the replace the UK. In the first week of July
the top five international destinations based on click-outs are,
Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Cuba.
The Dominican Republic Puerto Rico and Cuba gained significantly
in preference. While those countries accounted for approximaely7%
of all search queries between January and July 2019, they made up
13% of all searches between April and the first week of July 2020.
The data indicates a desire to travel to destinations with high
proximity to the continental United States. Compared to last year,
the total distance traveled decreased by 37%, indicating a bigger
shift toward domestic travel.
Preference for longer tripsInterestingly, trips
of 7-plus days took longer to be affected and were less severely
impacted overall than shorter trips. However, data shows that trips
of more than 14 days did not recover as quickly as shorter trips.
By mid-June, planning for longer trips returned to 39% of January
volume, but has since dipped to 32% of the January level. Search
volume for trips up to six days decreased by 90% compared to the
beginning of the year. In the first week of July 2020, searches for
shorter trips (1-6 days) were back at 37% of the January level.
“Given the shift to traveling more by car, longer trips are more
desirable for obvious reasons,” said Hefer. “We expect that this
will continue; longer trips where travelers can spend more time to
experience their holiday but stay closer to home.”
Changing customer expectations will drive change for the
industryAccording to McKinsey consultant Wittkamp, the
travel industry – including tourism associations, event organizers,
hotels and tourist attractions -- faces completely new challenges:
“They need to ensure that demand and expectations for a destination
match the realities and opportunities available. If this is not the
case, measures need to be taken to ensure travelers still enjoy a
good experience. Hotels, for example, need to know when capacities
can be ramped up or need to be scaled down.”
Hefer adds: “Tourism agencies need to weigh the risks of opening
attractions against the danger of a new COVID-19 outbreak.
Questions and answers are changing daily, requiring greater
About trivago trivago is a leading global hotel
search platform focused on reshaping the way travelers search for
and compare hotels and alternative accommodations. Incorporated in
2005 in Düsseldorf, Germany, the platform allows travelers to
make informed decisions by personalizing their hotel search and
providing them access to a deep supply of hotel information and
prices. trivago enables its advertisers to grow their businesses by
providing access to a broad audience of travelers via its websites
and apps. As of March 31, 2020, trivago has established
54 localized platforms connected to over 4.5 million hotels and
alternative accommodations, in over 190 countries. Media Contact:
Stephanie Lowenthal email@example.com
Forward looking statements This press release
contains certain forward-looking statements. Words, and variations
of words such as "believe," "expect," "plan," "continue," "will,"
"should," and similar expressions are intended to identify our
forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements
involve risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our
control, and important factors that could cause actual events and
results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking
statements. For additional information factors that could affect
our forward-looking statements, see our risk factors, as they may
be amended from time to time, set forth in our public filings with
the Securities and Exchange Commission. We disclaim and do not
undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking
statement in this press release, except as required by applicable
law or regulation.
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