Are 'staycations' going to be the new normal?
Patrick Atack
Europeans might be holidaying in their own countries, instead of taking long flights. /Jaime Reina/AFP

Europeans might be holidaying in their own countries, instead of taking long flights. /Jaime Reina/AFP

The travel industry has suffered on a truly global scale from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the following lockdowns, but house-bound travelers are still feeling a wanderlust and looking to book holidays when the crisis lifts. 

The difference? Now they're looking much closer to home. 

Data from Sojern, a company that helps travel firms understand what people around the world are searching for online, has noted a rise in inquiries for holidays in travelers' own countries as international searches have dropped off. 

The graphs show the "year-on-year" change in domestic and international searches for the destinations – that means how many holidaymakers searched in April for flights to the cities in question. 


For Marseille and Naples, domestic searches show more confidence that internal travel will be possible by early 2021. This is relative, with Sojern data showing that global hotel searches are down between 70 and 100 percent. But of the searches that are recovering, it is a renewed desire for domestic getaways that will give the industry some cheer. 

The data track where people are looking – and when. In April, searches have been concentrated on arrival dates towards the end of 2020 and into 2021, with domestic options outstripping international trips (apart from in Germany, where those looking for their next adventure appear to think globetrotting will return to normal by mid-2021). 

Gran Canaria seems to be the destination international in which sunseekers have confidence. But March 2021 is the furthest date in the future Sojern analyzed. 



Italy is closest to showing pre-lockdown levels of internal searches, while the U.S. internal market is also suffering less than others – but then, it is a very large internal market. 

Those living in the UK appear most reluctant to give up hope of far-flung destinations, with international searches closer to domestic levels – and even overtaking them for arrival dates towards the end of 2020. 


Check out The Pandemic Playbook, CGTN Europe's major investigation into the lessons learned from COVID-19