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UK Travel and Tourism Trends for 2020

This article has been written before COVID-19 crisis and is not anymore representative of travel trends in 2020. Update to come…


In an industry as fast paced as Travel and Tourism, we understand the importance of keeping our fingers on the pulse in order to identify market trends and spot new opportunities for our SEO clients. As an SEO Agency with long standing experience in the travel and tourism sector we’d like to share some of the top trends that we’ve seen so far in 2020 and how they’re influencing the market:

Positive Trends

  • Recovery in Europe’s Continental Market
  • Fall in the value of the pound making it cheaper for tourists to visit the UK
  • Increase in European City Break Popularity
  • Improved air routes and cheaper air travel
  • Long Haul travellers from the USA

Negative Trends

  • Uncertainty surrounding Brexit
  • Decline in domestic hotel spend
  • Mass increase in hotel building
  • Security issues in the UK

Influential Trends

  • ‘Off the beaten path’ travel
  • Mobile booking increases
  • Mobile app booking increases

Positive Trends in the Travel and Tourism Industry

Gradual recovery in Europe’s continental market has encouraged more overseas visitors to travel to the UK. This has been bolstered even more by Brexit and fall in value of the pound attracting those from further afield.

UK tourism saw a massive boom in 2020 with an increase in outbound markets from the east, especially the Arabic and Indian market. Although we haven’t seen this increase continue as positively in 2020, it’s stability is a good sign for our hospitality clients such as Frasers Hospitality.

The EU remains the UK’s largest travel destination for Brits with city breaks the most popular. Once again, this has been supported by cheap air travel and improved routes, resulting in an influx in international visitors. Euro travel to and from Asia/Pacific has seen a boom in 2020 so far, partly thanks to the opening of new air routes in China.

The USA continues to be Europe’s major source of long-haul tourist arrivals and accounts for 5% of the share of international overnight visits.

Negative Trends in the Travel and Tourism Industry 

Although we’ve seen some positive trends in the industry, the continued uncertainty around Brexit has lessened business travel to the UK and caused a decline in domestic spending on hotels.

Another negative trend from our clients perspective has been a rapid increase in the number of hotels in the UK and Europe.



Influential Trends in 2020 in the Travel and Tourism Industry 

Our SEO team prides itself on our ability to spot important trends that could be advantageous to our travel and tourism clients. So far in 2020, we have seen a number of influential trends emerge. None more so than travellers looking at destinations considered ‘off the beaten path’ that haven’t yet been infiltrated by mass tourism.

An increase in the number of consumers booking holidays and accommodation through mobile phones has also been observed this year. This increase has resulted in companies adapting their websites to be mobile optimised. Google’s July 2020 mobile algorithm update also put further pressure on businesses to ensure their websites were ‘mobile first’ in their approach.

Travellers are of course a highly ‘mobile’ audience and most travel categories generate more than one-third of their booking on mobile devices, with the highest bookings occurring in the ‘Car’ and ‘Hotel’ categories. According to Criteo, mobile apps see slightly more booking dollars per transaction than mobile web. Travellers also seemingly prefer to use apps to make their bookings. Criteo’s data also revealed that apps convert a lot more than mobile web, with travel advertisers seeing up to a 500% increase in conversion rates on an app compared to a mobile browser.

We ensure all our clients use our SEO market intelligence to stay on top of market trends and react accordingly.

Get in touch if you want to learn more about how we can help your business