A new study by SiteMinder, the global hotel industry’s leading guest acquisition platform, has found that more than half of UK locals plan to travel domestically during the remainder of 2020 and, in light of ongoing pandemic, will prioritise flexibility over low cost.
SiteMinder’s Changing Traveller Report, based on the survey responses of nearly 580 UK holidaymakers, reveals that 52 percent anticipate taking a domestic trip some time this year. When it comes to choosing their accommodation, the three most important factors to those holidaymakers now compared to before COVID-19 are:
- Free cancellation / booking modification – 37.02 percent
- Well-promoted health / safety practices – 29.41 percent
- Remote location / low levels of tourism – 15.05 percent.
Low price ranks as the fourth most important factor, as selected by 14.19% of respondents.
Among those surveyed, more than a third (35 percent) are in the midst of planning their next domestic trip and 10 percent are already in the process of booking. Twenty-nine percent remain in the dreaming stage while 10 percent are now on their trip. Only one-in-three are waiting until next year to travel again. Additionally, a third of UK locals say they will take a shorter trip than they would have prior to COVID-19, and a total of 48 percent will book their accommodation less than a month prior to hitting the road.
James Bishop, Senior Director of Global Demand Partnerships at SiteMinder, says, “It is welcomed news for the UK hospitality and travel industry that so many UK holidaymakers are embracing travel again and keen to support local accommodation providers. A level of caution among consumers is to be expected at this time, but our latest study and data from the SiteMinder World Hotel Index show us that consumer confidence is gradually building.”
Launched in April, the SiteMinder World Hotel Index is the leading indicator of hotel reservation and guest arrival trends around the world. Refreshed daily, the data is sourced from the bookings of SiteMinder’s 35,000 customers, through more than 400 hotel booking channels. According to the SiteMinder World Hotel Index, bookings at UK hotels soared from 9 percent of 2019 levels to 50.62 percent of 2019 levels during the six weeks following 1 June. Bookings for hotels within Liverpool were strongest, ending at 49.26 percent YoY, followed by Bristol at 48.85 percent YoY and Manchester at 48.44 percent YoY.
Based on bookings made at UK hotels to date, 91.54 percent of hotel arrivals over the second half of 2020 will comprise domestic guests.