Consumer Interest in Travel Categories Remains Significantly Lower
Visitation to travel sites 55-65 percent lower than volumes during week of February 3, 2020
RESTON, Va. - The latest insights from Comscore (Nasdaq: SCOR), a trusted partner for planning, transacting and evaluating media across platforms, shows that consumers are seemingly still not ready to think about travel plans amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The continuing depressed visitation volume has also translated to a downward trend in consumer spending on travel.
Overall, Comscore observed a 43 percent year over year drop in desktop travel spending for the month of March 2020, despite the fact that the steep decline in travel site visitation did not really begin until the week of March 16, 2020 (factoring in that the spike in visitation during the week of March 9, 2020 was likely due to cancelations). The airline category, which makes up roughly two thirds of all travel spend, fared the best - only seeing a 38 percent drop from last year, but the hotel industry is reeling (with a 61 percent decline).
One key indicator is "minutes spent per unique visitor," which is a measurement of consumer engagement on travel sites. This metric varies from week to week, but the week of April 13, 2020 registered a bump for all travel categories. It remains to be seen whether this is related to consumers planning trips, or if the spike was caused by another wave of travel cancelations.