KAYAK flight search trends shows travel recovery

Chinese tourist in Santorini, Greece

KAYAK’s flight search trends revealed that the travel industry is slowly recovering with people starting to search for flights.

“We’re making our search data available to inform and reassure the travel community,” said Steve Hafner, CEO of KAYAK. “Our industry has a long road ahead to recovery but I’m encouraged by the positive signs in our search results that we are starting to see”.

The dashboard is designed to offer information on global flight search trends (a daily look at how COVID-19 impacted flight searches globally relative to the same day last year), domestic versus international search trends and search trends by destination city (including a spotlight on the five cities seeing the biggest spikes and declines in searches).  The data will be updated daily through at least the end of the year.

Some of the interesting things revealed by KAYAK’s search data are:

The big drop – Flight searches in the United States, France, United Kingdom, and Germany reached their lowest point between 6-8 April. Flight searches started trending upwards in May. In Latin America, flight searches are continuing to trend downward.

Travellers avoid metropolitan cities – As cities tend to be the epicentres of the infection in most countries, travellers tend to stray away from cities and search towns like Honolulu, Miami and San Juan. In Europe cities like Milan, Venice, Nice and Ibiza are seeing the biggest drops, replaced by searches for towns in Portugal and Greece.

Domestic travel rebounds first – As travel restrictions are still in place in most countries, travellers search for domestic destinations.

News of reopening motivates travellers – News about reopening of tourism and resumption of travel bring hope to travellers.

Europeans may encounter very few American tourists – US searches to Europe are down 70% YoY this summer.

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