Avoiding crowded places has become a more important factor in their choice of destination for 65% of consumers surveyed, according to a new report by Tripadvisor and Phocuswright.

And as a result, their choice of destination is changing too. Ski and seaside resorts, as well as other rural destinations, dominated the list of fastest recovering destinations in Europe for domestic accommodation searches on Tripadvisor over the October period, with Zermatt in Switzerland and Adler in Russia topping the list based on year-on-year demand.

In addition, more than half (52%) say they are more likely to take an outdoor/nature trip than they were before the pandemic. Between May and September, outdoor activities, nature and parks accounted for 34% of all attraction page views on Tripadvisor, up from 25% in 2019.

Despite continuing consumer uncertainty, the desire to travel remains very strong but nearly two-thirds (65%) of respondents are still thinking about where they want to travel next.

“The industry has shown incredible adaptability and resilience in what has been a long and difficult year for travel,” said Charuta Fadnis, senior vice-president of research and product strategy, Phocuswright. “Our research consistently shows that travel remains a key part of consumers’ lifestyles and travellers are keen to indulge their wanderlust again. Vaccines and therapeutics will boost the nascent recovery and the industry can look forward to brighter days ahead.”

The joint report, 2020 - A Year in Travel: Charting the Travel Industry’s Path to Recovery, also found that last-minute trips are in, but so is meticulous planning. The advanced planning window (which is the number of days between when a trip is planned and when the trip takes place) has shortened as travellers are eager for last-minute, local getaways. 

In October 2020, nearly two-thirds (62%) of travellers looking for accommodation on Tripadvisor were planning to check-in less than 30 days out, compared to just over half (51%) of travellers during the same period in 2019.

However, people’s desire to plan travel more diligently is now higher than pre-pandemic times. More than two-thirds (69%) of respondents agreed they were going to research their next trip more than they did in the past.

“The good news is that consumers’ desire to travel remains incredibly resilient and that pent-up demand bodes well for the travel industry in the long run, especially considering the advances announced last week in the development of a vaccine,” said Steve Kaufer, CEO, Tripadvisor. 

Sourced from Tripadvisor, Phocuswright