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The influence of COVID-19 on travel plans and accommodation types

As the COVID-19 pandemic reshapes the world of travel, we investigated the impact on accommodation choices among international travelers. This piece builds on our analysis of propensity to travel in key English-speaking countries, in which we learned that desire for travel has declined but remains strong overall.  

More or less travel in 2020? The influence of accommodation types

Below we can see changes in propensity to travel over the next 12 months broken out by the accommodation type travelers used for past international travel.

Unsurprisingly, over the course of the month, the percentage of people anticipating less travel increased across all accommodation types. However, responses differed across travelers who’d previously stayed in different accommodation options.

COVID on travel plans & accommodations types - chart

Mid-range accommodation users more likely to scale back their travel plans

The percentage of mid-range accommodation guests anticipating less international travel in the second half of 2020 rose from 24% to 42% over the course of March. Travelers who previously stayed in short-term rental properties, however, were the most resilient to COVID-19 disruption. The percentage of vacation rental guests reducing their international travel plans increased only eight percentage points.

Luxury class hotels could be less affected, despite recent performance declines

Luxury hotels might have been hardest hit in terms of occupancy, but travelers who previously stayed in luxury or superior class hotels were least likely to reduce their future travel. Could this provide green shoots of optimism for potential future demand?

Interestingly, luxury and superior hotel guest preferences aligned with the preferences of short-term rental travelers. Both accommodation types offer unique experiences, such as the high quality of luxury hotels or the authenticity of an apartment rented in the middle of the city. In a post-COVID-19 world, the unique features distinguishing accommodations will be more important than ever in driving demand.

We’ll be back with another post shortly detailing how travelers with different motivations for leisure are looking at their future travel plans. In the meantime, discover the impact of COVID-19 on wider tourism.

For further insights into the impact of COVID-19 on global industry performance, visit our COVID-19 hub.

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