Online holiday searches conducted immediately after the quarantine rules were announced for Spain suggest Turkey and Greece will be the biggest winners of market share this summer.
Icelolly.com reported that Dalaman and Antalya in Turkey, and Corfu and Crete in Greece, saw the most significant surge in search on Sunday (26 July) after Saturday evening’s shock announcement.
Search for Tenerife, Majorca and Costa Blanca plummeted while Dalaman, Antalya, Corfu and Crete each saw their share of search increase by between 24-45% compared to the previous week.
Antalya and Corfu in fact knocked Tenerife and Majorca off the top spots for the very first time.
Icelolly.com’s head of travel deals, Chris Webber, presented the metasearch and deals publisher’s latest data at a seminar during TTG’s Restart Destinations event on Tuesday morning.
“I’ve been at Icelolly more than a year now and it’s the first time I’ve ever seen Tenerife and Majorca not be number one and two on our website,” Webber reported.
He added that Rhodes and Zante both also saw a very significant increase in their share of search, he added, though they remained just outside the top 10 searched-for destinations.
Webber also revealed which destinations had the strongest search-to-booking conversion rates on Icelolly.com in the seven days to 26 July – so one day before the Canaries and Balearics were added to the Foreign Office’s travel advisory list.
The five destination searches most likely to convert into bookings for Icelolly.com’s travel agent and tour operator partners were Paphos (with 70% of bookings being made for 2021), Hurghada (100% of bookings for 2021), Fuerteventura (bookings across summer, winter and summer 2021), Majorca (85% of bookings for summer 2020), and Rhodes (split between summer 2020 and summer 2021).
“We might see that searches for Rhodes become more weighted towards summer 2020 this week as people look for those alternatives to Majorca,” Webber suggested.
Webber also pointed out that while short-haul summer holidays are dominating Icelolly’s search business at the moment, long-haul holiday deals provided by travel agent and tour operator partners are also performing extremely well.
"We’ve had feedback from partners that destinations like Mauritius, the Maldives, Oman and the Dominican Republic have been converting well from a deals point of view. It could well be that those who aren’t necessarily going to get away this year are thinking, I’m not going to Tenerife this year but I’m going to go all out on two weeks in the Maldives next year, which will cost twice as much but I’ve saved my holiday money from this year," he said.
Watch all of Chris Webber’s presentation – along with training presentations form each of TTG’s Restart: Destinations tourist board partners (Malta Tourism Authority, Italian National Tourist Board, Tourism Nova Scotia, Visit Jersey, Israel Government Tourist Office and Moroccan National Tourist Office) on the event website.