*This breakdown given refers to the top 10 destinations only, not to all searches. The data is based on more than 10,000 searches travellers made between 1 September 2020 and 15 October 2020 and refers to searches made between 18 December 2020 and 3 January 2021.
Twenty-Twenty will be remembered as the year that changed travel forever. With flights grounded, ever-changing restrictions and a pandemic to manage, the travel industry has rarely had to deal with such complex challenges.
The past year has been a volatile one, for sure, one in which travel essentially halted. But the thirst for it never quite went away. Intrigued to see the impact COVID-19 had on travel and our customers, we looked at our booking data from June and July this year and compared it to the same time last year.
By taking a deep dive into this data, we’ve noticed the shifting patterns in our customers’ choices. This trend report shows that although COVID-19 did its best to dampen travel this summer, it didn’t stop people from exploring altogether. While holidays to Ibiza and Positano were basically out, Brits took a closer look at their backyards for their summer holidays. Compare this to 2019 when it was all about Paris, Amsterdam and the like. From Brighton to Portsmouth to London, Brits stayed in Blighty but picked coastal backwaters and cultural meccas for their sweet escapes.
In 2020, British seaside towns had a renaissance! One thing is clear—Brits love the beach! Usually, it’s all about the sand and surf in Spain and Italy but this year Brits preferred coasts closer to home.
Click here to download the table of Top Destinations in the UK (source: omio.co.uk/travel-trends)
Interestingly, the patterns seen in the UK are similar to those in Southern Europe. European locals in Italy and Spain have also been travelling to coastal regions in their countries. Who can blame them? With fewer tourists, popular beach resorts are now more appealing to locals.
|11||San Sebastian 2||Marbella|
|13||Segovia 1||San Sebastian|
|16||Sanlúcar de Barrameda||Venice|
|18||Conil de la Frontera||Paris|
Click here to download the table of Top Destinations in Spain (source: omio.co.uk/travel-trends)
|3||Frankfurt am Main 2||Munich|
|5||Cologne 1||Frankfurt am Main|
Click here to download the table of Top Destinations in Germany (source: omio.co.uk/travel-trends)
Click here to download the table of Top Destinations in France (source: omio.co.uk/travel-trends)
Click here to download the table of Top Destinations in Italy (source: omio.co.uk/travel-trends)
Another interesting shift in 2020 travel trends is the increase in people travelling by train and coach. The shift started in 2019, as conversations around the environmental impact of flying became more prevalent, mostly thanks to Swedish teen Greta Grunberg.
This year saw the majority of flights grounded, making travelling by train and bus necessary. Since Brits spent 2020 mostly at home, it makes sense for them to travel by train rather than to fly. Distances between major metropolises in England, Scotland and Wales are not too great, making ground transport a comfortable and viable option. Coaches have also seen a rise in popularity, as they are a cheaper alternative for getting around and can often get to more remote locations than trains.
Home and abroad, mid-sized and smaller towns are having a moment. Take inspiration from these local destinations, which have seen new-found popularity this year.
Get inspired by our brand new magazine The Window Seat.