With 5 months since initial stay-at-home orders were introduced in the US, Hopper is releasing its second quarterly Travel Outlook Report. In this second report, restrictions have eased in all 50 states and many Americans are showing a growing interest in travel.
While travel still remains down year-over-year as varied levels of restrictions continue for much of the world, Hopper has seen bookings in the app increase 195% since the industry-wide low point in April - suggesting an upward trend as Americans begin planning and taking their first trips since March.
As we come up on the end of summer, typically one of the busiest times for travel all year, we take a special look at travel safety, distilling insights from travelers who took a trip (either flight, hotel, or both) in the past six weeks. We also look at developing consumer trends as Americans look forward to fall travel with anticipation, analyzing data from demand for travel after September 1, 2020.
As new safety protocols become introduced and consumers begin to weigh future travel decisions, we checked in with recent travelers to better understand the travel safety experience, how people felt while traveling, and their future travel plans.
Hopper surveyed travelers who took a flight or booked a hotel stay in the past six weeks to get a sense of people’s recent travel safety experience. Among recent travelers, 85% said they’d feel comfortable flying again in the next 1-3 months and 79% said they’d feel comfortable staying in a hotel again in the same time period.
85% of travelers reported feeling safe during their most recent flight
87% reported feeling safe during their most recent hotel stay
Travelers rated the cleanliness of their most recent flight at an average of 8.1/10
Travelers rated the cleanliness of their most recent hotel at an average of 7.6/10
95% of travelers reported that their airline required face masks
70% of travelers reported that their hotel required staff to wear face masks
Beyond an increased focus on safety, flexibility and closer-to-home vacations have also emerged as key trends in recent months, ushering in a new age of hospitality focused on the flexible traveler, one who will demand more of their travel experience and options than in years past.
In a recent Hopper survey, 36% of travelers said that the ability to change dates after booking will be the most important consideration the next time they book travel, and 27% cited the ability to cancel with minimal penalty. And while summer is typically when we see Americans take farther-flung getaways, this year destinations closer to home in the US and Caribbean top Hopper’s list of trending destinations.
With new offerings like Hopper’s Flexible Dates Plan (which allows travelers to change for any reason) and Refundable Ticket Plan (which allows travelers to cancel for any reason), and select airlines continuing to waive cancellation fees, consumers will have more flexibility than ever when booking future travel.
Americans are booking almost exclusively domestic; 92% of trips booked on the Hopper app over the last 8 weeks have been for domestic destinations.
For the 8% of international bookers, travel has remained geographically limited, with Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic topping the list.
Summer advance time has shortened by almost a month; Americans typically plan their summer vacations 9 weeks in advance on average, but this summer the average time has been shortened to just under 6 weeks.
Americans are hopeful for fall getaways to warm destinations; cities in Hawaii, California, and Florida are trending as the most watched destinations for travel after September 1, 2020.
For those wishing for an international getaway, farther flung destinations make it on to the top 10 list for after September 1, suggesting Americans are hopeful that international restrictions will change in the coming months. Most watched international destinations for fall include places like London, Paris, and Tokyo.
Table 1: Top 10 most watched destinations in the last 12 weeks of Hopper data with departures after September 1, 2020
Most watched destinations for departures after September 1 identifies top 10 destinations Hopper app users have requested to watch beginning May 4. Safety survey focuses on travelers who booked a flight, hotel, or both on Hopper and took/completed their trip after June 15.