New WTTC Tool Gauges Trends In Travel Demand & Online Searches

A interactive new tool created by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) reveals trends in online travel searches and the recovery of travel demand. The Travel Demand Recovery Dashboard, created with support from McKinsey & Company, is regularly updated and uses data from ForwardKeys for flights, STF for occupancy levels and Google Trends for online travel search data.

Some highlights from the WTTC research include:

  • Air and hotel bookings have slightly recovered from the initial shock, stabilizing around an upward trend 
  • Global hotel occupancy has not been hit as strong as airline bookings, which suggests travellers are using modes of transportation other than air 
  • Global average hotel occupancy was down 36% as of 02AUG, 2020, when compared with 2019 while international flight bookings were down 108% from last year. 
  • Local recreational activity has recovered, suggesting the fear against spending active time outdoors is gradually passing.

Using Google Trends, the WTTC examines online travel searches by segment, with categories including Adventure, Culture, Urban, Family, Sun & Beach and Travel Services.

Research has found:

  • Adventure stands out as the leading recovering segment globally, at just 10% down on last year versus 40% for other segments. 
  • Regional recovery is driven by both COVID impact and peak travel season. North America recovery seems less impacted by these trends. 
  • Travel safety an insurance keywords are trending up, suggesting an openness for actual travel, combined with high safety concerns. 
  • While search for travel interest is still lower than last year, Europe is leading the recovery with search now just 20% down on last year. However, adventure is the fastest recovering search segment globally, at just 10% down on last year, versus 40% for other segments such as urban, sun and beach, family, culture etc.

“We have created a unique dashboard featuring qualitative and quantitative data to provide the insights which could be crucial to help the Travel & Tourism sector re-start and map out the path to its recovery," Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said.

“Data is essential for businesses, government and other organizations to make informed choices and drive the policy which will revive a sector that has suffered disproportionally due to the pandemic.”

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