Research Insights Charting the recovery

Charting the recovery

December 2020
Phocuswright Research

The onset of the pandemic has had a profound impact on global travel and tourism. Overarching trends tell an obvious story of low demand in tourism and hospitality as traveler numbers and spending over the course of 2020 fell significantly below 2019 levels.

Digging deeper, however, Phocuswright and Tripadvisor has found there are some emerging trend lines that could point to long-term behavior changes in the way people travel that go beyond COVID-19. Together, we partnered on a research study that brings together Tripadvisor's wealth of site analytics and behavioral data and Phocuswright's insights to help the industry navigate the sharp curves on the way.

Alice Jong, research manager, Phocuswright, presented these key findings last week during The Phocuswright Conference Online 2020. This research presentation was followed by a Q&A with Tripadvisor CEO Steve Kaufer.

Since the start of the pandemic, Tripadvisor has been tracking traveler trends and behaviors using a combination of quantitative research data, gathered from numerous in-depth consumer surveys, and site behavioral data analyzed from the vast amount of first-party data on the Tripadvisor platform, including high intent search data relevant to destinations, accommodations, dining and experiences.

The research team at Phocuswright likewise has been tracking travel trends. Published updates provide overviews of travel markets across the globe, including the impact of the pandemic on major players, key segment analysis, and sizing and projections for 2020. Comprehensive surveys of leisure travelers in the U.S. and Europe explore consumers' attitudes toward and intent to travel, changes in traveler behavior, perceptions regarding specific travel products and more. Air search trends in key global markets can be early indicators of consumer intent and provide clues to upticks in travel.

Phocuswright Chart: Outdoor Nature Trip
(Click image to view a larger version.)

Combined, the trends uncovered by research from both organizations have been showcased in a number of in-depth reports.

This research covers 6 key areas in the path to recovery, including:

  1. Safety first
  2. Summer rays (of hope)
  3. Default to domestic
  4. A breath of fresh air
  5. Last-minute planning
  6. Looking ahead
  7. a

This joint report by Tripadvisor and Phocuswright charts the shifting trends in traveler demand and behavior during 2020 in order to understand how the tourism industry's recovery could take shape in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this report, you will find:

  • Analysis of travel behavioral trends over the course of 2020, based on first- party site data, including high intent traveler search data for accommodations benchmarked against 2019 data, as well as some restaurant and attraction click data
  • Insight into consumer sentiment based on extensive quantitative traveler survey data gathered since the start of the pandemic, tracking how travelers' attitudes to travel are changing
  • Analysis of what these data trends may mean for the future recovery of the global travel and hospitality industry

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