Travel data provider ADARA is seeing a rebound in searches and
bookings for flights to and within China, the first country impacted by the
Compared to bookings in early January, the majority (58%) of purchases in
recent weeks are being made for travel in the next 15 days. In early January,
just 38% of flights were purchased in that short-term booking window.
And a much higher percentage of current bookings are for business travel
– 38% versus 20% in early January.
“That suggests there is a lot of pent-up demand. People are eager to
get back to work,” says Carolyn Corda, chief marketing officer at ADARA.
is a bit more discretionary. But the idea that they feel safe enough or their
companies feel it’s safe enough for them to begin traveling is an indication of
a bit of a turnaround there.
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“It wouldn’t surprise me if that’s the pattern we see worldwide. People
that feel more of an obligation or pressure to travel for work – not in a negative
way – are probably are going to be the leading edge compared to discretionary
or leisure travel.”
Flight searches are also on the upswing – an indication bookings may
continue to increase.
After a sharp decline in February, global unique travelers searching
for flights to and within China increased beginning in March and were up 29%
for the week beginning March 8 compared to the week of March 1.
The total volume of searches is also starting to increase. ADARA’s
anonymized data shows current volume is 55% of what it was in early January –
up from a low of 34% in mid-February.
For now the pace of bookings to and within China is starting to
increase, but more slowly than searches. ADARA says current bookings are at
about 30% of the volume that were booked to and within China in early January.
Outbound travel from China has not shown as much of a rebound, a
reflection of the uncertainty now facing so many international destinations,
“We are seeing subtle but meaningful changes across flight bookings
and searches for China travel. While it is too early to predict any long-term
patterns, these insights serve to help travel brands better understand how
quickly the market shifts as the coronavirus evolves,” she says.