Covid Research

VisitBritain, Customer sentiment tracker: Week 13 (fieldwork undertaken 10 August – 14 August)

  • Hotel/motel/inn has become the leading choice of accommodation for domestic trips between October and March (up to 40% from 36% last week).  Although the rise is not statistically significant and the lead is narrow with other accommodation types generating similar interest (38% choosing ‘private homes’ and 36% choosing ‘commercial rental’), it perhaps suggests that people are becoming more comfortable doing everyday activities/tasks and have growing trust in organisations making places COVID-19 safe.
  • In term of the reassurances people are seeking in order to feel comfortable staying in a hotel, measures to reduce contamination (e.g. hand sanitisers and enhanced cleaning regimes) narrowly leads over measures designed to encourage social distancing. Offering free cancellations continues to remain important, once again being the second most cited individual reason overall, with 60% of mentions. 
  • The gap between likelihood to participate in outdoor versus indoor activities is also showing signs of narrowing compared to previous weeks, perhaps reflecting the fact that processes are now being widely adopted to allow the safe enjoyment of visiting museums, having beauty treatments or eating out etc.
  • In terms of UK region/nation most likely to be visited between October 2020 and March 2021, the South West continues to dominate, with 16% of those intending to go on a UK domestic overnight trip citing this as their preferred destination, reflecting a narrow lead over Scotland (15%) and London (13%). These 3 destinations have remained the most popular destinations for a UK domestic overnight trip since the fieldwork commenced in May.

Covid-19 Consumer Tracker uk report week 13 final

A survey undertaken by the Office of National Statistics found that:

o    40% of people say that they have no travel plans this year
o    27% of adults said they were either likely or very likely to go on holiday in the UK this summer 
o    6% said they were likely or very likely to go on holiday abroad (down from 9% last week)
o    Only 8% of people said they would be likely to travel overseas knowing that they had to self-isolate for 14 days
o    18% reported that they had cancelled their travel plans 
o    14% said they had decided to holiday in the UK instead of travelling abroad this year – which is lower than many people would have expected.

Some key findings from the weekly BVA BDRC Sentiment Tracker Survey of 1,759 British adults include:

  • The percentage of people who think the worst is yet to come continues to track upwards to around 50% of the population – with only around 15% of people thinking that we are over the worst of it.
  • 85% of people think that there will be a second wave that leads to a lockdown
  • UK Holiday participation is tracking at 14% while there is only 2% participation in overseas holidays.
  • The remaining weeks of August see intentions to go on a UK holiday before the end of Au-gust and September continue to drop, due in large part to people having already taken their holiday. Intention to take a holiday before the end of December, however, increases from 45% to 48%, as those yet to take any breaks look to use up holiday allowance before the end of the year.
  • The number of people that have been on holiday in the UK so far this summer (June to 13 August) is less than the number of people who went on holiday in the UK during the winter period of January – March 2020.

Google has launched a new commercial advertising unit for tours, activities and attractions featuring attractions from the likes of Viator, GetYourGuide, and Tiqets, although this is only likely to be visible to a small percentage of users at the moment.

What are the impacts and consequences of the Covid pandemic on tourism? Access a wealth of research and insights to help inform your business decisions. This page will be updated regularly. 


A YouGov survey of over 2,500 British people, undertaken on 29 July, shows that nearly half do not intend on holidaying this year, although 28% are planning on holidaying within the UK (and 9% intend to holiday abroad).

VisitBritain, Customer sentiment tracker

In the most recent wave of the VisitBritain weekly consumer sentiment tracker (fieldwork undertaken 27 – 31 July), measures to reduce contamination (83%), ensure social distancing (81%) and having booking incentives such as free cancellations (80%) are the leading assurances needed by the public when staying in accommodation this summer. Offering ‘free cancellations’ continues to be the second most cited essential condition for accommodation providers to have in place.


Visit Britain, Domestic Outlook

VisitBritain have forecast a central scenario for Britain of:

  • £46.8bn in domestic tourism spending in 2020, down 49% compared to 2019 when spending by domestic tourists in Britain was £91.6bn. This comprises £12.6bn from overnight tourism, down from £24.7bn in 2019, and £34.2bn from day trips, down from £67.0bn in 2019. 
  • This is a decline of 49% for both overnights and leisure day trips, although the pattern of the recovery will be different. While some categories of day trips started to recover first, others will be very limited for some months to come.
  • This represents a loss of £44.9bn (£12.1bn from overnights and £32.8bn from day trips) – greater than the loss from inbound tourism in absolute value terms, although lower in percentage terms.

This above is a short-term forecast that describes one possible outturn and involves many assumptions and simplifications due to the fast-moving and uncertain situation; it is therefore subject to revision. Two specific assumptions made are:

(1) No major second wave of the virus that would necessitate a renewed national lockdown;

(2) By early 2021 we are unlikely to be back to baseline (pre-COVID) levels in any purpose/category. This is due to economic factors, supply loss, some continued level of social distancing, and traveller sentiment.