The end of the UK government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme hasn’t dampened Brits’ taste for dining out, findings released today by Tripadvisor revealed.
The world’s largest travel platform found that in the first two weeks of September, the volume of UK users searching for places to eat was in line with 2019 levels of demand, in stark contrast to the lower levels of demand the restaurant sector had faced in the months preceding the introduction of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.
Comparing year-on-year traffic volumes on Tripadvisor, traffic to UK restaurant pages in the first two weeks of September dipped slightly compared to the August peak but still gained 38 percentage points compared to the first two weeks of July and a whopping 67 percentage points compared to the first two weeks of June.
“The early signs are that Eat Out to Help Out may have had a lasting impact on diner confidence, with people returning to their favourite restaurants even after the government scheme ended,” said Martin Verdon-Roe, General Manager, Hospitality Solutions, Tripadvisor. “Some of that may be down to restaurants voluntarily extending the discount, but it is also likely a sign that once diners feel comfortable enough to take that first step back into a restaurant, they will keep coming back.”
The data was revealed in Tripadvisor’s Seasonal Travel Index, which combines Tripadvisor search data with consumer survey analysis to track accommodation and dining trends across the globe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It found that, globally, domestic travel for the autumn season (1 September – 30 November 2020) continues to gradually recover, with nearly two-thirds (65%) of all travellers planning domestic getaways during that period.
Outdoor adventures, which have gained popularity since the beginning of the pandemic, are continuing to interest travellers this autumn. In fact, nearly half (44%) of UK travellers are more likely to consider outdoor or nature trips and more than a third (35%) are more likely to consider road trips now, compared to before the pandemic.
With retreats to countryside and seaside destinations on the rise, British destinations are also benefiting from a recovery in inbound tourism by international visitors. Four British towns are among the ten fastest growing destinations in Europe for inbound international tourism, with Bowness-on-Windermere second on the list, behind Belek in Turkey.
Top Ten Inbound European Destinations for Autumn 2020, based on year-over-year growth
- Belek, Turkey
- Bowness-on-Windermere, UK
- Marseille, France
- Side, Turkey
- Sochi, Russia
- Adler, Russia
- Killarney, Ireland
- Scarborough, UK
- Llandudno, UK
- Windermere, UK
Other global travel insights revealed by the Seasonal Travel Index include:
- Last-minute travel: Autumn travellers are booking more near-term trips, often less than a week in advance2
- Safety first: Across the globe, safety remains critical. More than two thirds (68%) of global travellers say the safety and cleanliness of establishments are important when travelling locally, and 63% say they are more likely to consider a hotel’s health and safety measures when deciding where to stay (compared to before the pandemic)3
- Travellers are more budget conscious: Domestic travellers across the globe are searching for hotel stays less expensive than last year2
- While more travellers are viewing luxury resorts and romantic hotels, campgrounds and farmhouses are recovering the fastest year on year2
- In Europe, hotels that offer outdoor activities like hiking are also outpacing other property types in the recovery
- Accommodation style: While hotels make up the majority of interest due to size, Bed & Breakfasts have shown continuously stronger recovery year-over-year