With lockdown taking effect across the world, travellers are showing their resilience by booking trips abroad for when the strict measures surrounding the spread of Covid-19 lift.
According to new research from Sojern, there is a ‘very early spike’ in global travellers opting for longer lead times and booking flights in the last 14 days to the UK and Spain for January 2021, with levels above those from 2019.
While flight bookings are clearly down year-on-year right now, the trend report shows there is a ‘significant’ 229% increase in global flight bookings made in the last two weeks to the UK for the start of next year.
There is also 160% increase in flight bookings from Spain to the UK with departure dates in January 2021 and even Italy, although still below average year-over-year levels, is showing an upward trend for January of next year.
This could be a result of some airlines announcing their winter timetables early and also releasing a more flexible cancellation and booking policy increasing consumer confidence in booking trips for a date when they feel that the coronavirus pandemic could be in the recovery phase.
Steve Witt, co-founder of Not Just Travel says: “People want to travel, but are unable to as a result of travel restrictions. Yet, sales stronger than expected. Many people are booking big, dream trips for 2021. The travel landscape will be different when coronavirus dissipates, and unfortunately, we will lose suppliers in the process. But as soon as restrictions are lifted and life returns to normality, we fully expect a spike in bookings.”
The research also shows that Middle Eastern, Western and Eastern European, and North American travellers appear keener to reinstate their travel plans as soon as they can and are showing interest in travelling to the UK towards the end of the year.
Both Eastern and Western Europe show a very early increase in year-over-year travel intent for January 2021 with an above average year-over-year increase of 144% and 85% (up from 8% and 9% last week) respectively compared to the same time last year.
The report was part of a weekly update of EMEA travel trends from Sojern around Covid-19.
Susie Bindman, director or PR, EMEA & APAC said: “We will continue to share more insights as we monitor the situation. Whilst the implications for many industries look potentially bleak right now, eventually some kind of normality will be restored. Although it’s not yet known when, these insights will hopefully help shape strategies in rebuilding the travel industry after one of its most catastrophic events.”
To read more of the report, click here