cases stacked up with a plane in flight in the background reflecting shifts in travel behaviour

In February, we did a look back at 2020 and a look forward at 2021 data, using a combination of Sojern and PlaceIQ data to understand COVID-19 recovery and the bigger picture of the traveler through layering these insights together.

NB: This is an article from Sojern

Sojern and PlaceIQ joined forces again to provide travel marketers an update on where recovery stands today and how traveler behavior has changed. 

Sojern’s real-time search data, which tracks intent and gives insight into the path to purchase, coupled with Place IQ’s location data, reveals the current national and regional travel trends. 

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and stay up to date

Breaking Down Recovery Through Hotel & Flight Bookings

January 6, 2019 – June 12, 2021 

Flight booking data shows a steep recovery since the beginning of the year. As most marketers know, the flight vertical had a steeper drop in comparison to hotels, as flights were grounded during some of the pandemic. The flight vertical closed out 2020 about two-thirds down from the average in 2019, whereas the hotel vertical was only down roughly half from the average bookings seen in 2019. The good news is, in June 2021 we see that both hotel and flight data are 25% down from the “normal” in 2019. In fact, recovery for airlines has been faster than expected, and is resulting in crew shortages and flight cancellations for some airlines.

Recovery Varies By Region Across the Globe 

January 5, 2021 – June 12, 2021 

For the first time since the pandemic, Sojern data shows great news for flight booking recovery for some regions across the globe, as the Caribbean and US have surpassed 2019 levels (12% and 7%, respectively). In the US, remote states are still the most popular destinations; for example, Alaska, Montana, South Dakota, and Utah. In Latin America (LATAM), while just below 2019 flight bookings, standout destinations for flight booking recovery are Mexico and Costa Rica. 

In Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) recovery grew sharply at the end of March/early April as vaccines rolled out and restrictions lifted. However, things may change for the region as the Delta COVID-19 variant spreads in the UK and Portugal, forcing officials to reimplement lockdowns or pause pulling back pandemic mandates. Asia Pacific (APAC) has not seen recovery for flight bookings in 2021 thus far–aside from the Maldives, a tourism hotspot on a remote island. Both APAC and Canada are yet to recover. Canada is still down 70% in 2021 vs. 2019. The US extended restrictions for non-essential travel to Canada until June 21.

Read rest of the article at Sojern