As consumers around the world plan a summer of revenge travel in the wake of easing restrictions, Trip.com data reflects the global travel recovery trend with data from its booking sites across Europe and Asia and the results showing the rise of summer holiday bookings as travellers become more confident in a post-pandemic world.
Wednesdays are the most popular days
For summer 2022, the data shows Tuesday through Thursday are the peak days for browsing flights and hotels, with Wednesday as the most popular day overall for flight searches, and Saturday being the quietest.
From June to September, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and the UK markets saw July 1 as the most popular day for flight departures. It was also the most popular hotel check-in date that users searched for on Trip.com’s sites in the UK and Thailand.
Hotel booking window extended by up to a week
During the pandemic, the booking window for hotel stays had fallen from 20.3 days (June 2019 data) to 6.1 days in Asia. Flights saw a similar trend, with the booking window on Trip.com’s European sites falling from 22.2 (in 2019) to 13.4 days in June 2021.
For 2022, Trip.com’s data signals a return to pre-pandemic trends, with booking windows once again rising. In Europe, the window for hotel reservations in June 2022 matched pre-Covid levels at 14.2 days; booking windows for flights extended to 14.2 days from 6.4 days of June 2021. Similar trends are evident across Asia, with booking windows for flights rising to 16.4 days in June 2022 from 6.1 days in June 2020.
However, booking windows still remain shorter than pre-pandemic in the region, as restrictions remain across many nations and districts.
City-centric European summer holidays high on the agenda
Airlines and hotel chains have reported bookings and occupancy levels rising to pre-pandemic numbers for the first time this spring, with Trip.com’s European sites seeing an average monthly growth in traffic of around 10% between April and July, further underlining the increased demand for summer getaways.
While many choose beach holidays over city breaks this year, data shows that city-centric summer holidays are still high on the agenda for Europeans wanting to visit attractions, culture, food and new experiences in Europe’s most enticing cities.
Trip.com’s European data also reflects the vast increase in short-haul travel demand for June 1 to 31 August 2022 versus the same period in 2021, and that short-haul trips are 27 times more popular than longhaul and proves that most travellers still prefer to stay closer to home.
Customers book longer trips post-pandemic
European customers travelled for longer during 2020 than they did previously, with the average trip length in June 2019 being 6.2 days, rising to 8.8 days in 2020 and back down to 6.6 days in June 2022.
Asian travellers, on the other hand, are travelling for an average of 7.6 days in 2022, an increase on the average of 6.6 days in June 2019, but a decrease on 2021’s average of 8.7 days.
Local travel rebounds well in Asia
In Asia, countries and regions that have relaxed their travel restrictions have seen an impressive market performance, particularly those in South-east Asia. Overall in the APAC region, bookings increased by 21% in May and by a further 7.8% in June.
The most popular destination among APAC users was Singapore, where it saw a 42% year-on-year increase in hotel bookings in June.
Thailand saw a slight dip in April but following the Songkran Festival, overall bookings have tripled when compared to June 2021, with a 17% rise in bookings compared to May 2022.
While Thailand continues to attract customers from the UK and Asia-Pacific, the country’s recovery has mainly been driven by domestic travel, with domestic flights in June increasing 2.6 times year-on-year.
Japan and South Korea saw sharp growth in 2Q2022, with South Korean outbound flights increasing by 16 times year-on-year and June outbound flight bookings up 31% compared to May. South Korea eased travel restrictions in early June, so an upward trajectory in bookings is expected.
Japan also eased its border restrictions in June, with a large spike in bookings following the news. In May, flight searches to Japan on Trip.com’s global sites were 7.5 times as popular when compared to the same period in 2021.