Latest Research and Insights webinar FAQs

FAQs from our fifteenth webinar, ‘Latest Research and Insights’, recorded 28 January.

Please note information provided in these responses was correct at the time of recording.

Unfortunately, we didn't run the sentiment tracker in a 'normal' summer so don't have a like-for-like comparison.  The assumption is that uncertainty and a subdued appetite to travel among certain demographics mean it's significantly lower.

­Steps are taken to mitigate against response bias, but there is a skew in those intending to visit the South West residing in London, the South and East of England. ­

We do; in fact, we have a tracking project on this very subject! The report can be found here:

We haven't included any South East Asian markets in our own recent research. But we can see from flight bookings data that bookings to the UK from South East Asia have been running at -97% in the last 6 weeks of data, a bit lower than the average for all long haul markets.

We will conduct a second wave of this research late March. We hope to be able to continue it beyond that but it depends on budgets. ­

We haven't conducted an audit of this, but the latest Wave 23 tracker findings that 'free cancellations' and 'transferable bookings' were the leading factors considered essential for accommodation providers to have in place. ­

The base size of winter intenders is low, but we feel this is a function of an inability to book hotels/cottages etc and the desire to be able to socially distance in self-contained accommodation. ­

We didn’t ask about cases specifically, but the presentation covered perceptions of safety relevant to COVID of England, Scotland and Wales, and showed that generally Scotland was seen as the safest, followed by Wales and then England. We don’t have the same data available for regions within England.

For that and other reasons very little inbound tourism is likely in the next few months. It's too soon to know what kind of quarantine regime will be in place in a few months’ time so we haven't made a specific assumption­.

Please check out our Brexit research. This included a question on drivers/barriers to visiting Britain including both COVID and Brexit. We also look at issues such as the impact of uncertainty, and ID cards. This research was conducted in September but we will run a final wave in February/March:

We have a report on that:

The short answer is yes, although not necessarily the minutiae of any recent specifics. We can follow up with Oxford Economics if there is anything in particular you are interested in.

As this announcement came after this research was in field, it won’t be reflected in these results. In terms of the immediate impact, due to the new variant inbound tourism was already set to be so low anyway for the next few months that the short term impact on visit numbers is likely to be small.

­Yes, please take a look at the latest sentiment tracker report available here:

A combination of business travel and leisure travel e.g. taking a business trip to London but also extending it to watch a football match and explore the city for a couple of days.

We don’t, because intent to take day trips is very difficult to predict outside of specific times of the year such as Christmas and key Bank Holidays (e.g. August or Easter) and can also be heavily reliant on things such as the weather.  This is compounded at the moment by the fact we don’t yet know when or how attractions and activities will open up, as this will likely also be a major driver of demand.

Sustainability was going to be a research topic for 2020 before the pandemic hit, and we hope to be able to do some research on this topic in 2021. Previously we had seen evidence of concern about the environmental / climate change impact of travel (we have looked at this topic with Foresight Factory, a consumer trends agency) although there was less evidence of mass changes in behaviour as a result (especially compared to some other activities that people could do in their everyday lives). However, with growing awareness of trends like “flight shame” we are interested to learn how this plays out as travel recovers in the coming years.

This is something to watch as the data shows that younger people were willing to travel in the short term (without the vaccine). Top drivers for booking a trip amongst those <35 yrs old were 1) a significant decrease in coronavirus cases in the destination (37%) 2) hygiene and safety protocols at destination (34%) and then the vaccine (34%). Whilst for those aged 55+ yrs, 51%  cited the vaccine as the top driver followed by removal of quarantine, and then a money back guarantee. For the younger demographics there are other drivers besides the vaccine that would get them to travel.

We didn’t have a specific question on this but one of the attitudinal statements stated ‘I will be intending to take fewer but longer holidays’ to which 55% agreed, 34% disagreed and 12% had no opinion. By age and those that agreed the data showed - <35 yrs (64%), 35-54 yrs (55%) and 55+ (43%).

Sustainability was going to be a research topic for 2020 before the pandemic hit, and we hope to be able to do some research on this topic in 2021.

In the meanwhile you can watch back our sustainability webinar and hear what industry experts had to say:

Our latest forecast is that even by the end of 2021 inbound visit numbers are very likely to still be well below pre-COVID levels.

Please refer to our Brexit sentiment tracker here for more on that topic:  

Whilst we don’t have a specific question about that in the survey, I would say that given that the fieldwork was in December, after months of the changing rules and regulations 2020 and people having to adapt their plans, from the survey - people still had very high intentions of travelling internationally in 2021 -  in both the short and long term.


What we found is that a lot hadn’t actually booked their trip – only about 7% so people currently have that wait and see attitude as well.


And what we saw in the activators for leisure travel is that a good proportion of people are willing to book as long as they have that money-back guarantee. So I think as long as those policies are in place, people will be willing to adapt their travel plans.  I don’t think the desire to travel plan has gone away at all.

The results for the international sentiment research indicate that 7% of international travellers had been negatively impacted (although we recognise that some of these would have been impacted significantly), a higher proportion of 16% felt better off and 36% felt unaffected. There has been a sharp increase in the savings ratio in many countries, so there will be a large number of travellers with money to spend on holidays. However, 40% were uncertain, and many Governments will find themselves with large budget deficits, so the long term picture is less clear.

From a domestic traveller perspective, we see a clear demarcation between predominantly outdoor versus indoor activities.  General post lockdown intentions suggest the former (such as beaches, trails, outdoor theme parks, playgrounds) will receive higher than usual levels of engagement when travel restrictions ease.  Conversely, predominantly indoor activities such as visiting restaurants, cinemas, museums or spas/beauty retreats are more likely to struggle to achieve pre-covid visitor volume.  Further details can be found in the sentiment tracker reports:


From an international perspective, the first wave of the sentiment research suggests several trends. Firstly, attractions that appeal to young people will be key – this group are more likely to travel and more likely to travel sooner.


When it comes to city breaks, London is still the number one considered destination to visit in Britain, and ‘large city’ is number one type of destination which is considered, so city breaks will still be appealing. Also, 43% of those surveyed want to visit famous and iconic tourist attractions.


But we do see evidence for growing interest in less crowded activities. Outdoor nature activities are more popular than what we saw pre-COVID. Shopping, nightlife and cultural activities are ranked lower – activities which are likely to involve a close proximity to others.


Finally, eating out and food tourism seems to be a strong favourite. This is an opportunity to have a new and pleasurable experience in a fairly regulated environment.