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New Research by Tripadvisor and Phocuswright reveals latest UK traveller trends and top recovering destinations in Europe
Joint study provides unique insight into the road to recovery for the global travel industry based on Tripadvisor data

LONDON, U.K., 19 November, 2020 - Tripadvisor®, the world’s largest travel platform, and Phocuswright, the leader in global travel market research, today jointly released the findings of a comprehensive new research paper into the shifting trends in global travel demand and traveller behaviours, charting the industry’s road to recovery in the wake of the ongoing pandemic.

The report, entitled ‘2020 - A Year in Travel: Charting the Travel Industry’s Path to Recovery’, analyses Tripadvisor’s first-party data on travel planning behaviours around the globe, as well as consumer sentiment across six major markets - including the UK - to provide a unique insight into global travel trends. 

The full report can be read, for free, here: 

Key findings from the report include:

  • After positive signs of recovery in domestic leisure travel over the summer, demand for accommodation is now falling back in a number of markets as infection rates rise
    • Europe experienced the strongest leisure travel recovery during the summer, with the number of travellers researching domestic hotel stays reaching 2019 levels of demand for a sustained period in late July and August. However, the recent re-introduction of lockdown restrictions in countries like the U.K., France and Germany has seen demand for rooms drop 
  • Confidence to travel remains fragile, but with big differences by market
    • Of consumers surveyed in six markets, confidence to travel was highest among U.S. respondents (48% said they felt more confident it would be safe to travel in the next three months compared to the previous three) and lowest among respondents in the U.K. (13%) and Italy (just 12%)
  • Travellers are reassessing the type of trips they want to take…
    • More than two-thirds of Brits surveyed (68%) say the ability to avoid crowded places when travelling is now a more important factor in their choice of destination than it was pre-pandemic, and more than half (55%) say they are more likely to take an outdoor/nature trip than they were before the pandemic
    • Between May and September, outdoor activities, nature and parks accounted for thirty-four percent (34%) of all attraction page views on Tripadvisor, up from 25% in 2019.
  • ...and as a result their choice of destination is changing too
    • Looking at year-on-year data over the October period, ski and seaside resorts, as well as other rural destinations, dominated the list of fastest recovering destinations in Europe for domestic accommodation searches on Tripadvisor, with Brighton, Windermere and Bath all featuring among the top ten. Zermatt in Switzerland and Adler in Russia topped the list.
    • In hotel searches on Tripadvisor during the month of September, clicks to properties categorised as ‘quaint’ or ‘romantic’ recovered quicker than the average, while ‘centrally located’ properties were recovered at a below average rate. 
    • Of the hotel amenities travellers can filter searches by on Tripadvisor, ‘hiking’ over-indexed (relative to year-on-year changes in users applying that filter) more than any other.
  • Despite continuing consumer uncertainty, Brits’ desire to travel remains very strong
    • Nearly two-thirds (61%) of U.K. respondents are still thinking about where they want to travel next

“While there was positive progress over the course of the summer, the re-introduction of tighter restrictions on travel in many countries is clearly having an impact on demand in the short-term,” said Steve Kaufer, chief executive officer, Tripadvisor, “The good news is that people’s desire to travel remains incredibly resilient, and that pent-up demand bodes well for the travel industry in the long run, especially considering the advances announced last week in the development of a vaccine.”

“The industry has shown incredible adaptability and resilience in what has been a long and difficult year for travel,” said Charuta Fadnis, senior vice-president of research and product strategy, Phocuswright. “Our research consistently shows that travel remains a key part of consumers’ lifestyles and travellers are keen to indulge their wanderlust again. Vaccines and therapeutics will boost the nascent recovery and the industry can look forward to brighter days ahead.” 

The joint report by Tripadvisor and Phocuswright provides an update to the findings published in a June research paper by Tripadvisor, entitled ‘Beyond COVID-19: The Road to Recovery for the Travel Industry’, which outlined five distinct stages of tourism impact and recovery resulting from the pandemic: 

  1. Decline - Travel declines sharply as widespread restrictions enforced
  2. Plateau - Sharp decline in bookings levels out, but travellers start dreaming their next trip
  3. Emerge - Easing of travel restrictions begins, early signs of recovery in dining sector
  4. Domestic Travel - Travellers book their first trips away, but stay close to home
  5. International Travel - Border restrictions ease, and international travel begins to rebound

For additional information on the impact COVID-19 has had on the tourism industry, visit Phocuswright at or visit Tripadvisor’s webinar series found at:





The data cited in this release was gathered and analysed from two key sources:

  • A Tripadvisor Consumer Sentiment Survey, based on data drawn from an online survey of up to 2,400 consumers per survey, in partnership with Qualtrics, conducted approximately every two weeks from 3/27 through 10/21 across six countries - U.S., UK, Australia, Italy, Singapore and Japan
  • Site behavioural data sourced from first party traffic data on the Tripadvisor platform.

About Tripadvisor

Tripadvisor, the world's largest travel platform*, helps hundreds of millions of travellers each month** make every trip their best trip. Travellers across the globe use the Tripadvisor site and app to browse more than 878 million reviews and opinions of 8.8 million accommodations, restaurants, experiences, airlines and cruises. Whether planning or on a trip, travellers turn to Tripadvisor to compare low prices on hotels, flights and cruises, book popular tours and attractions, as well as reserve tables at great restaurants. Tripadvisor, the ultimate travel companion, is available in 49 markets and 28 languages.

The subsidiaries of Tripadvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP), own and operate a portfolio of travel media brands and businesses, operating under various websites and apps, including the following websites:,,, (including,,, and,,,,,,,,, and

*  Source: SimilarWeb, September 2020

** Source: Tripadvisor internal log files



Source: Tripadvisor

For further information: 

About Phocuswright Inc.  

Phocuswright is the travel industry research authority on how travellers, suppliers and intermediaries connect. Independent, rigorous and unbiased, Phocuswright fosters smart strategic planning, tactical decision-making and organisational effectiveness. 

To complement its primary research in North and Latin America, Europe and Asia, Phocuswright produces several high-profile conferences in the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific. Industry leaders and company analysts bring this intelligence to life by debating issues, sharing ideas and defining the ever-evolving reality of travel commerce. 

Phocuswright also operates PhocusWire (, a media service that covers the world of digital travel 365 days a year with a range of news, analysis, commentary and opinion from across the travel, tourism and hospitality sector. 

The company is headquartered in the United States with Europe and Asia Pacific operations and local analysts on five continents. 

Phocuswright is a wholly owned subsidiary of Northstar Travel Group.