Travel and tourism were among the most affected sectors by the COVID-19 pandemic. Global travel restrictions caused a massive decline in international demand for travel, and data from the latest issue of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer showed that international tourist arrivals fell by 72% in 2020.
With the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines this year, people are getting ready for a safe return to normal life, causing a surge in searches for pre-pandemic activities that include traveling.
Life before COVID-19 was different, to say the least. For most people, the idea of exploring crowded places and experiencing different cultures was exciting. Traveling was once considered a normal activity that anyone could do without worry, but the pandemic changed all that. Over the past year, countries around the world worked together to create vaccines that could combat the virus and bring life back to normal.
Now that vaccines have started to roll out, many are already anticipating what comes next in a post-COVID world. Most people view vaccine breakthroughs as the first step in getting back to normal. In fact, analysts are already noticing an upward trend in search queries for outdoor activities.
Increased Traveler Optimism
An April 2021 Global Insights Brief by Google found that people have started searching for experiences such as "getaways near me", "places to visit near", "international flights", and more. There was also an increase in search queries related to style, beauty, and haircuts. This signifies a boosted interest in people looking to change their appearance before heading out in public once again. Their data also found that:
- Image searches for "trendy" have grown globally by over 100% Year-over-year.
- Image searches for "hairstyles over 50" have grown globally by over 400% Year-over-year.
- Searches for "short haircuts for" have grown globally by over 200% Year-over-year.
- Image searches for "simple hairstyle men" have grown globally by 500% Year-over-year.
As people started to spend more of their time at home, they turned to digital channels for services, purchases, and other activities, causing a massive shift in online consumer preference and behavior. A survey conducted by Duke University's Fuqua School of Business found that 84.8% of US CMOs claim that they noticed an increase in customer openness to new digital offerings due to the pandemic.
As customers become more open to new digital experiences, more of them start to look online before making purchases. Data from Google Search Trends over the past 12 months found that there has been a significant increase in search volume for domestic airlines, and demand in the airline travel industry is expected to increase as more people are getting vaccinated.
There has been a 65% increase in search volume for airlines since January.
Amidst surging inquiries, Everise social media moderators achieved an unheard-of average rate of issue resolution of just under ten minutes.
The travel and hospitality industry has weathered similar disruptive events in the past, and in every circumstance, travel companies have found ways to come back and flourish. At the core of every travel and hospitality brand is the desire to create unforgettable experiences.
Our CX solutions in Everise provide insights into extending the kind of outstanding travel and hospitality customer experiences that build loyalty, improve social response time, and ensure traveler safety while cutting costs.
Discover how Travel Brands can remain resilient and evolve travel and hospitality experiences by downloading our case study.