Visitor volumes to travel websites in August dipped 19% in August compared to July according to the latest data reported by analytics specialist bd4travel.
The latest monthly insight covering the period up to August 31, focussed on the peak summer travel period in Europe.
The analysis shows visitor numbers with booking intent peaked between July 5-28, nearly tripling compared to June as European destinations reopened following lockdown.
However, booking numbers significantly fell in August reflecting the closure of air bridges and reduction of available products as travel providers cancelled package holidays,
However, visitor intent tracking revealed that ‘Planners’ represented a larger proportion of visitors, nearly doubling from 13% in July to 24% in August.
Bookers represented a consistent proportion of visits at 7% for both August and July, compared to just 4% in June.
Lookers, those on their initial travel search, peaked at the end of June representing over 82% of all visitors, before falling to 69% of web traffic in August.
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Bd4travel also found consumer booking behaviour is changing with bookings now spread equally across every day of the week.
This compares to a majority of bookings in 2019 made on Mondays or Tuesdays and indicates a significant change in consumer behaviour, according to the firm.
Trip conversion rate peaked in the week of July 26 before countries were added to red-lists across Europe.
This was the first peak above 1% since early May when travel was indicated to reopen in July. There was a sudden drop in conversion the week of August 2, marking the point when Spain returned to red-lists.
However by the end of August, booking conversions began to rise again, suggesting a larger proportion of visitors are now possible customers.
Andy Owen-Jones, chief executive and co-founder of bd4travel, said: “With only a few travel corridors available between destinations, users seem to be more precise in their booking intentions right from the start of their search.
“Travel companies need to focus on how to support Planners in decision-making as they represent ‘pent-up’ demand and to optimise messages and promotions to Bookers.
“Historic data and absolute figures are no longer providing the essential insights to enable travel portals to create targeted campaigns, requiring a deeper level of data in real-time.
“Furthermore, as we emerge from summer into a traditionally quieter period for leisure travel, monitoring real-time visitor activity enables travel companies to respond to changing market conditions and consumer behaviour.
“Particularly as governments give warnings against non-essential travel abroad, businesses need to be as responsive as possible to their customers.”