European destinations set to dominate in 2021, says Opodo parent eDreams ODIGEO

European destinations set to dominate in 2021, says Opodo parent eDreams ODIGEO

Opodo parent eDreams ODIGEO says European destinations will dominate the most booked charts in 2021, according to its latest data.

The European travel giant analysed booking data from over 17 million customers for its annual top travel trends report ‘eDreams ODIGEO 2020 A Year in Travel’.

It reveals the most booked destinations for next year by European travellers along with how long they plan to be away.

EDreams found a shift between the locations Europeans are currently booked to travel to in 2021 and those most searched for after announcements of a COVID-19 vaccine roll-out.

Dana Dunne, chief executive of eDreams ODIGEO, said: “Whilst 2020 has been a difficult year for all sectors, including travel, our business has continued to develop and innovate during this time, ensuring that we emerge stronger from the crisis.

“We saw a rapid increase in bookings when travel restrictions were lifted in the summer which is a positive indication of what we can expect as we move towards a better sense of normality next year.

“We are excited about the news regarding vaccines which will enable markets to reopen and look forward to continuing to welcome back customers throughout 2021.

“Flexibility and agility will be king next year; businesses that cannot fold this into their offering will struggle to remain relevant.

“A recent survey we commissioned of 10,000 adults found that before committing to book, 60% of travellers would need a guaranteed refund for travel and accommodation if their trip was cancelled due to COVID-19.”

Lisbon topped the chart as the most booked destination for Europeans in 2021 followed by Istanbul.

Overall, Europeans favoured nearby destinations when committing to journeys next year, with 80% of the top 10 most booked locations in Europe.

Just two long-haul destinations, Fort de France and Bangkok, feature in the top 10 list this year, in stark difference to bookings analysed for 2020 in last year’s report.


Table 1: Top 10 most booked destinations for 2021 based on 2020 booking data 

NumberCity Country 
1LisbonPortugal
2IstanbulTurkey
3Fort de FranceMartinique
4Palma de MallorcaSpain
5TenerifeCanary Islands / Spain
6ParisFrance
7PortoPortugal
8BangkokThailand
9DublinIreland
10AlicanteSpain

Last year, just one city within the top 10 most booked destinations was in Europe and Australia topped the charts.

The research revealed consumers are optimistic about in 2021, but are booking with caution.

However, a sign of a return to previous patterns was indicated by the popularity of long-haul destinations in searches following positive news on vaccine development.

Search data after the Pfizer-BioNTech announcement saw Malé, Cancun and New York feature within the top 10 list.


Table 2: Top 10 most searched destinations after key vaccine announcement (Searches between 09.11.20 – 22.11.20) 

NumberCity Country 
1DubaiUAE
2New YorkUSA
3BangkokThailand
4TenerifeCanary Islands / Spain
5IstanbulTurkey
6LondonEngland
7DenpasarBali
8TokyoJapan
9MaléMaldives
10CanucnMexico

More than a third (35%) of travellers who have booked for 2021 will be away for two weeks or more.

This is an increase from the 22% of consumers who travelled over the summer period for this length of time.

The most popular length of time consumers will travel for in 2021 is between 7-13 days, with 32% of bookings for 2021 confirmed for this period of time.

EDream data shows last minute flight bookings were favoured this year as travel restrictions and changing corridors put people off committing.

This summer, 33% of travellers booked their flights 0-5 days before departure, in stark difference to 2019 when the most popular booking window was +31 days.

This trend was reflected in hotel bookings, with 33% of hotel stays booked 1-5 days in advance in 2020 in comparison to just 17% the year before.

The OTA group also found 57% of all flights booked were made on a mobile device, up from 45% in the same period last year.

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