Sun-seekers will be flocking to Greece this year, as bookings to the popular Mediterranean tourist destination increased by 35% in March year-on-year, beating second-placed Thailand (+25%), United States (+17%), domestic travel (+13%) and India (+6%).
This is according to a new quarterly study by Criteo, who has taken data from over 815 travel players internationally that account for over 1.6bn travel bookings worldwide, as well as surveying over 1,200 consumers in the UK.
Although over two-thirds (67%) of Brits are likely to make an online booking for a flight, hotel or lodging domestically in the next 12 months (below the global average of 75%), they are much more inclined than other countries to book abroad; 58% say they will make a similar booking somewhere other than the UK, well above the global average of 48% (and second only to Germany).
Across the board, young people internationally are more adventurous than all other age groups. In the UK, 72% of Gen Z and Millennials are looking to book international travel, compared to 56% of Gen X and only 47% of ‘Boomers’ and the ‘Silent’ generation.
And how UK consumers are booking their travel is revealing too; Brits are booking their travel on their mobile more than any other country or region, even with more people working from home due to Covid-19; 74% are booking through their phones, compared to just 51% worldwide on average (including 49% in France and 56% in Germany).
However, not everyone will have the luxury of affording a holiday post-pandemic. UK consumers are the second worst-affected financially compared to other countries around the world, with 24% citing they won’t be travelling in the next 12 months because they have been financially impacted. Only Spain (26%) was higher.
Alexander Goesswein, MD, Central Europe at Criteo, said, “As the recent coronavirus restrictions have been laid out in the UK and come into effect recently, we are seeing a clear shift in consumer and purchase behaviour. While most of the travel and bookings this year will remain domestic due to potentially ongoing Covid restrictions, there is a large cohort of consumers who are searching for a post-pandemic getaway in the sun.
“With the UK never guaranteed a barbecue summer, it’s not surprising that many are taking the risk to fly abroad, although many will be keeping an eye out for government guidelines and updates to the ‘red list’ as restrictions ease over the coming weeks. And not least of these are the airline and travel sites hoping to reboot one of the most impacted sectors of the pandemic.”