According to Expedia Group search data, Canadians are increasing their intent to travel this summer, and shifting their focus towards local trips. While Canadian domestic travel searches steadily dropped throughout March and into April, Expedia Group data indicates average gains of nearly 20% week-on-week since mid-April on domestic travel searches for trips in August. In addition to rising domestic travel intent, data from Canadian based market research firm Leger reveals favourable sentiment among Canadians to reopen hotels across the country. Expedia Group has provided recommendations based on recent trends to help lodging partners set their strategies and capture this early demand.
3-star lodging accommodations are the most searched option during trip planning
Expedia Group data from mid-April to mid-May shows nearly 45% of travellers looking for hotels in August are seeking 3-star lodging accommodations. Alternatively, the data shows a higher propensity to spend on 4-star properties with searches coming in just under 30%, compared to the 2-star searches at nearly 25%. To meet traveler expectations on price, Expedia Group lodging partners should consider offering a mid-level price point while adding flexible rates and promotions to draw attention to their listings.
Travellers opt for wheels over wings in 2020
According to Leger data, Canadians are more apt to travel by car this year for their next vacation, with 65% of consumers preferring a vacation they can drive to versus 25% taking a vacation that requires a flight. And only 24% of consumers polled plan to take a trip abroad in 2020. With the staycation proving to provide accessible travel opportunities for Canadians in 2020, lodging partners should consider marketing strategies to attract customers within driving distance. Expedia Group is helping properties reach domestic travellers through destination specific landing pages across it’s sites such as Expedia.ca and Hotels.com.
Canadians comfortable with hotels reopening if proper cleanliness measures are in place
According to Leger, 67% of Canadians are comfortable with hotels reopening, but would like to see certain steps taken as part of the reopening process, including practiced social distancing and increased cleanliness measures. Across the provinces, British Columbians are most eager to see hotels reopen at 76%, while 68% of Quebecers and 64% of Ontarians would like to see hotels reopen. To ensure customers can book with confidence, Expedia Group created a new feature for lodging partners to highlight their health and hygiene measures including contactless check-in and check-out, hand sanitizer available to guests, enhanced cleaning measures and social distancing plans.
Tracking demand trends
Beyond tracking current travel intent signals and new expectations placed on travel providers, Expedia Group lodging partners can also better understand when travel demand will return and where it will come from, using Market Insights, the new analytics tool released by Expedia Group in Partner Central, the company’s suite of lodging tools. Market Insights aggregates traveller page visits and searches from across Expedia Group sites to provide an early indication of traveller behaviour and intent at the market and submarket level, allowing travel partners to rebuild their business with confidence.
Fuelling industry recovery
As the travel industry sees very early signs of recovery, Expedia Group understands the critical role travel and tourism will play in reinvigorating the global economy and laying the foundation for long-term recovery. Expedia Group recently committed $275 million as part of its Recovery Program for travel partners, which includes a variety of initiatives designed to help stimulate business, from property relief, to industry-wide programs to destination rebound.