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An Uncertain Future: COVID-19's Global Impact on the Travel Industry

9 July 2020
Неопределенное будущее: глобальное влияние COVID-19 на индустрию туризма
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In this publication, SimilarWeb studies web traffic and user acquisition strategies for top travel websites to offer insight into the current state of travel and help businesses navigate the turbulence and prepare for the post-coronavirus era.

The Roscongress Foundation presents the salient points of the publication accompanied by fragments of broadcasts of relevant panel discussions from the business programme of international events held by the Roscongress Foundation.

Overall traffic and conversions for travel websites fell in most countries.

For instance, overall traffic to four of the leading flight providers in China has decreased by 70% since December 2019. According to SimilarWeb, domestic travel is likely to be the first to rebound after the restrictions on travel are lifted. Looking back at on-site search data for prominent accommodation players in Italy, analysts notice that conversions for international destinations fell off earlier than local ones. The segment of domestic travel was more resilient, and so, the analysts conclude, it will recover faster.


Car travel is growing in popularity.

According to SimilarWeb, drive destinations and domestic travel will pick up first after restrictions are lifted since they are viewed as the safest options, both health-wise and economically. Overall unique page views to car rental sites in Japan increased by 18% between January 1 and March 26.


Information and cancellation pages make up a large share of traffic.

Traffic and conversions have bottomed out almost universally for top travel providers, with most traffic now going to information and cancellation pages. Delta, which created COVID-specific information pages in February, has been publishing informational articles through its news hub, The hub underwent a 458% increase in traffic between February and March.


Mobile apps and online experiences are on the rise.

The analysts note that online events can make a huge contribution to traffic. Also, they emphasize that mobile app behavior is especially important now. As people look to new forms of entertainment—such as gaming or fitness apps—they might find themselves in a position where they have to delete older apps to clear space on their phones. It is promising for travel players that install penetration has not decreased significantly for the main travel apps. According to SimilarWeb data, install penetration for top Android travel apps has remained relatively stable since February 1, signaling consumer optimism.


For more information about economic development—particularly in the travel sector—amid a pandemic, please see the COVID-19, StayHomeEconomy, and Tourism special sections of the Roscongress information and analytical system.

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