Pulse: Demand in holding pattern as roadmap out of lockdown remains unclear Pulse: Demand in holding pattern as roadmap out of lockdown remains unclear

Will Monday’s expected update from the prime minister be a boost to traveller confidence?

Demand for holidays appears to be in something of a holding pattern as consumers await signs that travel restrictions will be lifted in time for summer 2021.

Recent trends in the weekly Pulse tracker continued to play out this week with a shift towards domestic trips this year and demand for overseas being pushed back.

There were increases in share for tail-end of the year months, October to December. June search share fell markedly but July and, to a much lesser extent, May gained share.

Costa Blanca gained shared again, with Gran Canaria posting the biggest share of search gain in the top 10.

Egypt (just outside the top 10) increased share by close to a third and further down the list, Amsterdam saw a big share increase, too.

Corfu’s share fell by close to a third, the biggest drop of any destination in the top 50.

Among UK destinations, Devon replaced Cornwall the most-searched UK destination, with UK also seeing a big rise in search share. St Ives had a massive search-share increase.

Close to 11% of searches were for the generic terms (UK, England, Wales, Scotland). Wales was the most-searched UK country.

Share of search for stays 31-90 days in the future was the big winner this week. That would cover the April/Easter period that could be when self-catering UK trips open up.

Summer searches remain strong and by far the dominant period people are searching for.

Chris Webber, head of travel deals at, said the market appears to be waiting for signs from the government next week about the road out of lockdown.

“The trend we’ve seen in recent weeks has continued to play out – there’s still strong interest for a UK beach break this summer, while overseas travel becomes a focus for later in the year and in 2022.

“Conversely, we’re seeing smaller search volumes for UK breaks in 2022. Searches were down overall for overseas travel this week, but we saw a growth in UK searches.

“Attention turns to the impending announcement from the prime minister next Monday as to the next steps in managing the pandemic and whether that will inspire any confidence in travellers.

“And, also, whether in the days leading up to that announcement we see a further shift in interest towards UK holidays.”