February 2021: COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment Behaviour

19 February 2021

The numbers are of course, significantly lower than in previous years:
• Penetration for any break - 55%.
• Penetration for leisure breaks - 38%.
• Staycations were further impacted by a significant increase in people who did not travel at all last year.

Further, 60% of consumers claimed they took less domestic trips in 2020 than in previous years. Most consumers are generally still hedging their bets and adopting a wait and see attitude before they make their final bookings.

As we saw last year, there was a lot of hype about bookings but stock was not filled to capacity and many bookings came through at the last minute. Consumers still hope to be able to travel internationally this year, especially for longer breaks.

However, lead indicator metrics for 2021 are generally up and various diagnostics point to this year being stronger than 2020:

• Those who claimed to have taken less domestic trips last year are showing higher intent for 2021 with the opportunity being to ensure conversion from intent into booking.
• While families continue to show strong intent, younger unconstrained adults, especially those from NI, are showing an interest in travel in the ROI (of note is that the latter are looking at Dublin as a destination).
• Intent metrics pick up from March (in line with the lifting of Level 5) as well as spring, and peak in August.
• WAW again tops the regional list but IHH has lower consideration.
• Galway is the most popular city destination and Donegal, Kerry, Cork and Wexford are the preferred counties for travel.


Download the full report published February 2021 [PDF 331kb]