Tripadvisor publishes findings from travel industry recovery study

Worldwide: Travel platform Tripadvisor has released the findings of a multi-month study that analysed consumer travel sentiment and first party behavioural data related to the ongoing pandemic, as well as the stages of recovery that the industry will need to overcome

The research paper, entitled “Beyond Covid-19: The Road to Recovery for the Travel Industry”, 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.

It also sets out to explore and identify 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 surging strongly
  • Consumer desire to travel remains resilient – around two in five [41 per cent] 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 per cent] of consumers saying they are more likely to take a road trip, and two thirds [61 per cent] saying they are most comfortable taking a road trip for three-five days
  • Consumers are 218 per cent more likely to want to take a trip where they can relax compared to before the pandemic1, and nearly two thirds [59 per cent] 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

Tripadvisor CCO Kanika Soni said: “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. 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 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 about their next trip
  3. Emerge – Easing of travel restrictions begins, early signs of recovery in dining sector
  4. Domestic travel – Travellers book their first trips away, but stay close to home
  5. International travel – Border restrictions ease, and international travel begins to rebound

The company currently manages five vacation rental brands – FlipKey and VacationHomeRentals [US], Holiday Lettings and Housetrip [UK] and Niumba [Spain] – though these were reported by Skift to constitute less than ten per cent of TripAdvisor’s overall revenue. In April, CEO and co-founder, Stephen Kaufer, said the company would have to lay off 900 employees, some 25 per cent of its global workforce, in a “significant” cost-cutting exercise.

The research paper can be read in full for free here.