Tripadvisor Recovery Study

June 16, 2020


Tripadvisor released the findings of a multi-month study that analyzed consumer travel sentiment and first-party behavioural data related to the ongoing pandemic. 


The report outlines a five-stage recovery for the travel and hospitality industry, inclusive of the period of decline created by the pandemic through the anticipated market recovery and the return of international travel.


The research paper entitled "Beyond COVID-19: The Road to Recovery for the Travel Industry," explores and identifies where the tourism and hospitality industry is on this road to recovery as well as 1) outlines the significant pent up demand that exists in the marketplace for travel and dining, 2) details the change in travel and dining behaviours resulting from the ongoing pandemic and 3) illustrates recent search and traffic patterns on Tripadvisor globally related to the crisis.


A snapshot of some key findings:


  • New Zealand, Germany and Switzerland among first markets to enter the Emerge stage, with restaurant searches on Tripadvisor resurging strongly.

  • Consumer desire to travel remains resilient - around two in five (41%) consumers are optimistic that they will take the same or more trips than last year.

  • Shorter trips to destinations closer to home are a recurring theme, with nearly half (44%) of consumers saying they are more likely to take a road trip, and two thirds (61%) saying they are most comfortable taking a road trip for 3-5 days.

  • Consumers are 218% more likely to want to take a trip where they can relax compared to before the pandemic, and nearly two thirds (59%) would prefer to go somewhere off the beaten path.

  • Nature and beach destinations on the rise as Tripadvisor sees spike in North American traffic researching Campgrounds, Ranches and Beach Motels, while Myrtle Beach, San Diego and Key West are among the most popular domestic U.S. destination searches in recent weeks.


"We're encouraged to see positive signs of recovery and are here to help our travellers and partners understand the pathway through this pandemic with clear insights and tangible data," said Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer for Tripadvisor, Inc. "Our path to recovery will depend on the steps the industry takes to prepare for the road ahead - not just in terms of new standards and practices but also in how we collectively educate and engage consumers in a new, more thoughtful way of travelling."


The five stages to recovery


The Tripadvisor in-house market research and insights teams have outlined five distinct stages of tourism impact and recovery:


  1. Decline - Travel declines sharply as widespread restrictions enforced.

  2. Plateau - Sharp decline in bookings levels out, but travellers start dreaming their next trip.

  3. Emerge - Easing of travel restrictions begins, early signs of recovery in dining sector.

  4. Domestic Travel - Travelers book their first trips away, but stay close to home.

  5. International Travel - Border restrictions ease, and international travel begins to rebound.


An industry eager for actionable insights


Tripadvisor continues to leverage its research and insights to educate the tourism and hospitality industry and brands on how to appropriately attract more consumers as stay-at-home orders begin to lift globally. Media buyers, hoteliers, restaurateurs, and tour operators alike can gain functional advice on how to best serve their customers' needs in each stage of the recovery. Across the board, safety, flexibility and transparency are key to rebuilding traveller and diner confidence.


The data cited in this report was gathered and analyzed from two key sources:

  • A Tripadvisor Consumer Sentiment Tracking Survey, based on data drawn from an online survey of consumers, in partnership with Qualtrics, conducted approximately every two weeks from 3/27 through 5/18 across six countries worldwide.

  • Tripadvisor site behavioural data sourced from first-party traffic data on the Tripadvisor platform.

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