Travel “boom in summer”, IPK International tells ITB Berlin

IPK International predict travel will restart in May, with a peak in July and August


62 per cent of global outbound travellers plan a holiday abroad in 2021, according to research conducted by IPK International.

This is an increase of 24 per cent compared to May 2020.

29 per cent of holidays will be a tour, and 33 per cent an outdoors trip.

IPK conducted the research in January 2021 with 500,000 interviews across 33 countries. They claim to cover 90 per cent of international travel demand. 

CEO Rolf Freitag presented the results at ITB Berlin NOW on Thursday.

Travel is expected to restart in May and peak in July and August. 

The most popular destinations for those surveyed are Spain, Germany, Italy, France and the United States. China has fallen from the 8th most popular destination to 23rd.

24 per cent of those interviewed expect to take a domestic trip, a decrease of 17 per cent, and 14 per cent do not expect to travel, a decrease of 33 per cent.

The IPK International results assume that vaccinations move forward as planned and that restrictions are lifted.

While Covid is still expected to be prevalent by the end of this year, officials from the World Health Organisation have said that the worst will be over by that time thanks to vaccinations.

Four in five trips are expected to be holidays, with one third made to visit friends and family, and just over one in five for business.

“Our results give much reason for hope”

ipk international
Spain is set to be the most popular destination this year — seligaa / Adobe Stock

Freitag said: “We should look forward with confidence.

“The return of the global economy to its pre-crisis level can be expected for the second half of 2021. That’s the second half of this year.

“Also, our latest World Travel Monitor results from the end of January this year give much reason for hope.

“As vaccination rates rise and fears gradually subside, travel demand will return. So we will have a boom in summer.”

Further analysis carried out by PhocusWright was presented by Charuta Fadnis. She said that it would take until 2022 for travel bookings to climb over $1tn again.

“By 2024, though, we’ll still be seeing signs of recovery and growth. We don’t expect to have recovered back to 2019 levels,” she said.

Global travel bookings were worth $1.4tn in 2019.

Fadnis said that while online bookings fell by 57 per cent in 2020, they did not fall as hard as the rest of the market. She expects that these will exceed 2019 levels — $699bn — by 2024.

Online travel needs to understand the customers who don’t make a purchase

IPK International
“We have to start measuring things in different ways,” Andy Jones said — VAKSMANV / Adobe Stock

Much of ITB Berlin NOW’s third day concentrated on data — the sort required to make decisions and how to hold on to customers’ and maintain their privacy — LGBT travel, adventure and DMOs.

Andy Jones from bd4travel discussed how to use data to drive personalisation and precision sales.

This could be a form of survival bias — don’t look where the bullet holes are, look at where they aren’t.

“Otherwise you’re really talking about segmentation, rather than personalisation,” he said

Rather than focusing on what is already selling, online travel should be focusing on understanding the people who don’t buy. 

Retailers should ensure they have the data they need to show travellers the products they are interested in as soon as they arrive, instead of having to search.

“We have to start measuring things in different ways,” he said. 

“Serious transformation means thinking of new ways of measuring.

“If you only measure bookings, you’re only focused on getting bookings. If you keep measuring the same thing you’ve always measured, you’ll keep getting the same result.”

The Adventure Travel Trade Association led a lot of the afternoon with discussion about their new guidelines on how to operate safely, how to carry out specialised profiling to target specific travellers — especially remote workers — in a market that has suffered serious disruption, and how to travel sustainably.

ATTA were followed by multiple discussions on LGBTQ travel. Queer travellers should be core to any recovery marketing mix, Ed Salvato said.

This is because of the community’s greater travel spend, loyalty and resilience. They will also create high amounts of user-generated content, and will be some of the first to travel.

Did you find this article helpful? Share it to others

Leave comment

Interested in our products?

Ventrata is a comprehensive booking solution for tour and attraction businesses that are looking to win back control of their sales channels and maximise profits.  With Ventrata as your booking and ticketing partner, you not only get industry-leading software you also get 24/7 support from our global team!

Request Pricing