The pandemic has led to a radical change in the workplace reality for millions of people who have started working from home. This new reality is affecting travel search patterns, with weekends gaining prominence. During 2019, the majority of global flight searches were concentrated on business days, especially from Monday to Wednesday, rather than weekends. Considering that the majority of flight searches are currently online, it would seem logical to think that more searches are concentrated on weekends, as users have more free time. But this is not the case – the analysis of global search data show us that people spent more time searching for flights during business days.
This pattern has been altered in 2020 due to the profound social and labour-force changes resulting from the pandemic. Millions of people have stopped going to the office on a daily basis to work from home and this has caused a change in the trend of travel searches. Remote working and spending more hours at home has increased the amount of time we spend on the Internet; therefore, we now spend more time searching for trips during the weekend and on Mondays.
This change in behaviour is particularly relevant for tourism marketing, revenue management and e-commerce in the tourism industry. The success or return of a campaign will depend on the segmentation specifications and its timing – which has to align with the client’s decision. Under the current circumstances, Mondays and weekends increase their relevance for flight searches, making the distribution during the week more homogeneous than in the pre-pandemic period.
The question is whether this trend will continue or is circumstantial. Current data shows as this trend is linked to working from home, it will persist as long as remote working and mobility patterns are maintained. Therefore, only real-time observation of trends can give us the answer. Hence the importance of Tourist Intelligence through Business Intelligence systems adapted to the hotel sector and smart tourist destination management.