Coronavirous: KAYAK dashboard spots signs of recovery as it tracks pandemic search trends

Coronavirous: KAYAK dashboard spots signs of recovery as it tracks pandemic search trends

Metasearch site’s boss Steve Hafner is ‘encouraged by positive signs’

Booking Holdings owned metasearch website KAYAK has launched a data centre to reveal flight search trends during the COVID-19 pandemic.

KAYAK said search trends “tell the story of a near standstill in air travel, early signs of a recovery, and the emergence of new consumer travel search trends”.

The form has also developed an interactive Travel Restrictions Map detailing entry restrictions by country and a flexible travel filter to easily identify travel options with free cancellations.

Steve Hafner, chief executive of KAYAK, said: “We’re making our search data available to inform and reassure the travel community.

“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 offers insight into daily year-on-year trends, domestic versus international travel trends and destination trends. Data will be updated daily until at least the end of 2020.

UK key findings: 

  • The last week of April, specifically April 27, saw the biggest drop in flight searches vs 2019 in the UK;
  • Flight searches started trending upwards in May
  • Destination cities and regions currently facing the biggest declines in consumer interest include Edinburgh, Dublin, Madrid, Barcelona and Andalucía, with searches down 80-90%  versus 2019;
  • São Paulo, Sofia, Karachi, Brisbane and Perth are currently the places seeing the highest increase in search ranking compared to 2019;
  • Previous holiday favourites such as France, Portugal and Greece are currently no longer among the top 10 most-searched destinations.

International search data:

  • Flight searches in the United States, France, United Kingdom, and Germany reached their lowest point between April 6-8. Flight searches started trending upwards in May. In Latin America, flight searches are continuing to trend downward.
  • Travellers turn away from urban hotspots. International cities like London, Tokyo and Paris are being replaced with searches for 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. Domestic travel searches in the US, Europe and Asia Pacific are growing at a faster rate than international searches. Australia, Spain, the US, and France are seeing the biggest shifts;
  • Cities with eased travel restrictions are gaining momentum the fastest. In the US, Las Vegas saw the biggest spike in searches following the reopening of casinos. Southern cities are a close second. In Europe, it’s Italy, France and Portugal. In Asia Pacific, searches in South Korea, Taiwan and Australia are returning to 2019 levels for some major city destinations.
  • This summer, Europeans may see very few American tourists. US searches to Europe are down 70% year on year.