• Filippo Milano

The Travel sector is the worst hit in the UK.

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

Searches for travel-related terms in Google declined by up to 90% at the start of international lockdowns. As restrictions are eased, and with borders still largely closed, demand for travel is showing small signs of recovery.

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We call the practice of extracting timely and candid insights from this data Search Listening.

For new insights I advise to look at COVID-19 UK TRAVEL SECTOR INSIGHTS REPORT.


While some airlines are still operating flights around the world to cater to essential travel, many airlines will remain mostly grounded well into summer, with a few exceptions:

  • British Airways owner IAG have said they are planning for a meaningful return to service in July 2020 at the earliest.

  • Virgin Atlantic have released plans to resume flights in the second half of 2020, along with a flight programme for summer 2021 servicing 24 destinations.

  • Wizz Air has resumed some services, although mainly for seasonal farm workers and British nationals trying to get home.

  • United Airlines is planning to restart flights to China, although foreign nationals are currently banned from entering.

  • TAP Portugal plan on running some flights from 18 May, including Lisbon-Heathrow.

  • Ryanair has said it expects 80 per cent of flights to be operating by September.

One interesting insight is that people are booking more average nights per stay with Airbnb than before COVID-19. The average had been 3 nights prior to the pandemic and now people are booking much longer stays. Hotels can leverage this insight to offer promotions for week-long stays or longer.

People will be eager to get out of their homes and will want to take a vacation. Rather than fly to destinations, they will take their airfare money and put it into a home rental by the lake or mountains.

This prediction is backed by survey data that he shared: When consumers were asked where they want to go post pandemic, 70% of people chose single family homes outside of cities.

So, what does this mean for hotels?

  • Think about packages for weekly stays

  • If you have suites or villas for families, make those a focus

  • Create promotions for your guests within a 6 hour driving radius

  • Tout cleanliness guidelines since Airbnbs doesn’t have guidelines or policies in place today

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