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Green means go for thousands of British holidaymakers

by LLB political Reporter
20th May 21 12:53 pm

Thousands of Brits are planning to go abroad following the easing of lockdown rules on overseas travel, announced by the UK government on the 7 May.

Social listening data provided by digital marketing agency, the tree, shows that confidence in travel has increased following the UK government’s green list announcement. Since the 7th of May, mentions of the word ‘travel’ on social media have grown by 37 percent, with 86 percent of posts having a positive to neutral sentiment. However, some social posts have continued to have negative connotations (12 percent), with consumers using the hashtags #indianvariant, #covid19 and #travel.

This follows recent reports of Ryanair seeing bookings increase from 500,000 a week in early April to 1.5 million a week now*, as travellers from England, Scotland and Wales begin jetting off in what the crisis-hit tourism industry hopes is the start of a recovery.

Positive developments, such as the successful vaccine roll-out in the UK, as well as Tourism Ministers in overseas destinations saying that they will welcome UK holidaymakers this summer, has also had a positive impact.

Travellers can now visit 12 countries on the government’s green list, including Portugal and Israel, without isolating on their return. Reflected in the tree’s data, mentions of ‘Portugal’ surged 121 percent, with 93 percent of posts showing positive to neutral sentiment and the use of ‘Package Holiday’ in social posts increasing 63 percent, with users tagging #Iceland, also on the green list.

After the green list was published, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays saw summer bookings to Portugal jump by more than 1,300 percent week-on-week**, highlighting consumer confidence in getting away and enjoying a holiday this summer.

However, some consumers still seem set on holidaying at home this year. the tree’s data shows mentions of ‘Staycation’ and ‘UK Holiday’ were also up 12 percent and 8 percent respectively, with the hashtags #selfcatering #wellness #yorkshirecoast, #cornwall, #scotland, featured in users’ posts. Since the green list announcement, almost all (94 percent) social posts relating to staycations showed positive to neutral sentiment.

Daniel Andrews, founder of the tree, said: “The latest relaxation of restrictions is a small step in the right direction. The UK Government has shown a clear ambition to reopen travel, and the publication of the green list has had a very positive impact on customer confidence.”

“Now restrictions have loosened, brands will need to use in-depth social listening to understand consumers’ emotions about travel, in order to communicate effectively with their loyal customers, as well as thinking creatively about how to capture the attention of new audiences, as the industry continues to recover from the effects of the UK lockdown and travel ban.”

“Take, for example, our work with easyJet. Last year, we created the easyJet Traveller platform. Unable to communicate with travellers mid-flight, easyJet needed a fresh digital marketing approach that inspired future travellers while planes were grounded. Based on social listening, we created travel guides for all 30 of easyJet’s destinations and reactive editorial around themes such as the 10 best undiscovered beaches in Europe. This is one way that brands can really capture the attention of their audience: by giving them content that informs and entertains.”

“Social media is a powerful means to drive success for the tourism industry in our uncertain post-pandemic world. As a tool for connecting with communities, strengthening brands and driving brand awareness, increasing sales and much more, social media has no comparison. It lets businesses be adaptable – and in a volatile landscape, adaptability is everything.”

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