Skift Take

To find the paths out of this crisis, more and better data really is key. We have added more data points to better track the travel industry’s recovery, but it's not particularly good news.

Recovery seems to have all but stalled, according to the latest update of the Skift Recovery Index. The global score stands at 36, which means that travel performance is currently at 36 percent compared to the same time last year.

The main reason for this is the decline and stagnation of performance in China and the U.S., respectively. Both countries have struggled with new and continuing coronavirus outbreaks and restrictions.

That said, China, U.S., and also Germany, are outpacing the rest of the world in terms of recovery. They clearly have a larger traveler base to tap into, but it is interesting to see if there are specific areas or travel verticals where we see these countries moving ahead of their counterparts.

The index shows some interesting differences in performance within each country.

The lodging industry is performing strongest in China and the U.S., and clearly out front compared to India and the average of the other 11 countries that are tracked in the index.

Interestingly, flight is performing well in China, as it has opened up to air travel much more than other countries, while drive is performing better in the U.S.

Germany has particularly high performance in the drive vertical, with Germans seemingly not waiting for flights to resume, and instead opting for drive holidays.

Read the latest Skift Recovery Index update

New Data Partners Added

To continue to improve the index, Amadeus, Skyscanner, Collinson, TrustYou, and Key Data Dashboard have joined as data partners.

Amadeus and Skyscanner will be providing flight search data, strengthening our view on traveler’s intention to travel. Skyscanner is one of the largest flight metasearch engines worldwide, offering a view on traveler intent to fly, while Amadeus is one of the most prominent global distribution systems with a strong view on searches made by travel agents.

Gilles Trantoul, Amadeus’ vice president strategy and transformation travel channels, said: “We believe that the Skift Recovery Index is a strong tool to gain a grounded view of market realities across many areas of the travel industry.”

Gavin Harris, commercial director strategic partnerships at Skyscanner added: “It has never been more important for the industry to come together to share data, insight and best practice as we all seek to drive a safe and fast recovery.”

Collinson provides an interesting perspective on air performance, by contributing airport lounge visitor numbers to the index. As flights have plummeted, and some airports have completely closed, lounge visits have similarly fallen off a cliff. We expect this to be one of the latest indicators to start showing improvements, and it is therefore a great proxy to the overall health of air travel.

Hotel review data from TrustYou is used because of its proxy to hotel occupancy, and Key Data Dashboard adds more insight into the U.S. vacation rental space in predominantly traditional rental markets.

Amadeus, Skyscanner, Collinson, TrustYou, and Key Data Dashboard join the 10 launch partners to bring the total data partners to 15. The launch partners are Arrivalist, Criteo, Hotelbeds, OAG, RateGain, Shiji Group, SimilarWeb, SiteMinder, Sojern, and Transparent.

Skift Recovery Index Rebased

Adding these new players, and after having run the index for a few weeks, we were able to recalibrate some of the weightings to provide a better insight into the recovery. This means that the score has change this week compared to previous weeks.

The recovery index is a mixture of leading and trailing indicators, taking into account indicators ranging from traveler intent in the form of website visits and searches, to future bookings, to actual achieved occupancies, revenues and cancellations.

It is therefore not necessarily a representation of actual revenues achieved on the books, but instead a more holistic view of the health of the entire industry, and the different verticals within it.

Click here to find out more about the Skift Recovery Index.


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Tags: coronavirus, recovery, tourism

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