Traveler Behavior in Challenging Times
The travel industry is currently facing unprecedented challenges that sequentially resulted in some substantial alterations in market dynamics and standards. In this article, with the help of the extremely insightful data published by TripAdvisor ("New Solutions to Succeed in Challenging Times"), we will report and try to reason on those shifts.
Let's start with the good news, we can safely say that the tension for market decline has, for the most part, been exhausted. That leads us traversing back and forth between 4 stages of either plateau, which means a high restriction or lockdown and the market not moving, the next stage is the emergence of local community shops and markets, followed by domestic travel, with the final stage, international travel.
Interestingly enough, there is still an appetite for travel, it just shifted domestically. The share of travelers booking domestic stays worldwide increased by 15.5% compared to the same period last year. It is also worth noting that in 2020, there was a clear trend towards travelers booking their trips ever so closer to their travel days, a fact that is logical considering that we are currently living in uncertain times.
Another effect of the uncertainty and the domestic limitation of current trips is that travelers are planning shortest stays, with the 1 to 3-night category increasing the most, that is at least the case for the EMEA region. Speaking of EMEA and while following the global trend, there is a noticeable decrease in travelers' hotel booking expenditure per trip compared to last year which is highlighted heavily in 2020 season's September and October, with -14.4% and -16.6% respectively. This means that we have a clear pattern of consumers willing to pay less for their hotel stay and, as a result, amplifying the importance of price competitiveness.
The places that travelers choose to travel is also getting heavily influenced by our current situation, with consumer data suggesting that they are more likely to plan their next trip as long as they are surrounded by some form of outdoors activities, like nature trips, road trips, beach trips, etc. This, of course, puts tremendous pressure on hotels located in urban centers and an excellent opportunity for hotels near outdoor activities that they have to communicate.
So far, we have mentioned the most significant shifts in travelers' behavior, however, it is just as important to note the things that remained unstirred throughout this period. Cleanliness remains the most important consideration when choosing accommodation, and bookings are heavily driven by reviews, now more than ever.
Stay tuned for more insights and the latest market reports to follow. In rapidbounce, we are strong advocates of data-driven, proactive, and knowledge-based decision making as the most effective way to get through current and future challenges.
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