A new travel trends research paper recently released by travel guidance platform Tripadvisor reveals that vaccine rollouts globally are driving increasing demand for summer vacations, with vaccinated travelers more likely to stay longer and spend more on their trips than unvaccinated travelers.
The report, titled “A Shot in The Arm for Travel? Examining the Vaccine’s Impact on Leisure Travel Demand”, provides an insight into emerging travel planning trends around the world by combining behavioral analysis of Tripadvisor’s first-party search data – revealing the type of trips travelers are actively researching on the world’s largest travel platform – with consumer sentiment analysis gathered via traveler surveys in six major international markets, exploring the latest in traveler attitudes and confidence.
Key findings from the report include:
1. The vaccine has a significant impact on the demand for accommodations
Countries where the pace of the vaccination rollout is more advanced, like the US and UK, are powering near-term growth in tourism demand, while a more muted recovery picture emerges across the Asia-Pacific region.
Half (51 percent) of US respondents plan on taking a summer vacation somewhere in the US, and nearly a quarter (22 percent) plan on taking a summer vacation abroad.
Elsewhere, since the turn of the year, the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany and France have all seen significant growth in hotel search traffic on Tripadvisor, while in Australia – which is heading into its winter months – the recovery in search traffic has been largely flat.
Vaccinated travelers are a key driver of demand – when surveyed, a third (32 percent) of vaccinated travelers globally said they had booked a domestic vacation, of whom eighty percent (80 percent) agreed that the vaccine had been a factor in their decision to book.
By comparison, less than a fifth (19 percent) of unvaccinated travelers had already booked a domestic trip.
Among those yet to be vaccinated, nearly half (48 percent) of those planning a domestic trip are waiting to receive at least one dose of the vaccine before booking.
2. Vaccine rollouts are also offering a boost to dining and experiences
In the first week of May 2021, weekly US restaurant searches on Tripadvisor were at a higher volume than at any stage since the pandemic began and experience searches were already close to last year’s summer peak.
The UK, France and Italy all experienced an upwards spike in restaurant searches on Tripadvisor in April, with dining searches there outpacing traffic volumes at the same stage in 2020.
3. Domestic tourism is dominating travel planning searches for the peak season ahead
In the first week of May, travelers planning summer vacations on Tripadvisor were overwhelmingly searching for domestic vacations – 75 percent of June vacation searches globally were for domestic destinations, as well as 67 percent of searches for July trips and 62 percent of those looking to get away in August.
However, for trips planned later in the year, international hotel searches on Tripadvisor made up the majority of trips planned from November 2021 onwards.
4. City destinations are re-emerging as the trip of choice for vaccinated travelers
Of those vaccinated travelers planning to vacation in 2021, nearly a third (32 percent) say they feel more confident about visiting an urban center as a result of receiving at least one dose of the vaccine.
5. On average, vaccinated travelers plan to spend more and vacation longer than other travelers
Globally, 22 percent of respondents plan to take a longer trip than they would have done pre-pandemic, rising to nearly a third (30 percent) of vaccinated respondents.
During the first week of May, nearly half (46 percent) of all international accommodation searches on Tripadvisor were for stays lasting six days or more.
Globally, more than a third (35 percent) of vaccinated travelers surveyed plan to spend more on their next trip compared to what they spent on travel prior to the pandemic, while only a fifth (20 percent) of those yet to receive the vaccine plan to do so.