"Companies have a choice, are you simply going to focus on survival or are you going to innovate and transform to meet a new reality? We know travel is coming back, travel cannot be stopped..." Stephanie Linnartz | President, Marriott International (Source)
After the Green List was introduced on the 7th of May, many travel brands were given a renewed sense of optimism. They had good reason to be buoyant; our call tracking data showed that calls to travel brands rocketed. Call numbers were up 36% compared to late March, and we could see a steady week on week increase.
For most of our travel clients, the week the Green List was revealed saw about the third-highest volume of calls to the travel industry since lockdown started.
Consumer optimism was rising with the number of vaccinations administered, and calls to travel brands were on the up, which was incredibly promising.
That week several of our travel clients were at 50-75% of their pre-pandemic call volume for early May. While impressive, especially considering where we were at the start of the year, progress was perhaps a little slower than many would've liked it to be. Most were still a fair way from 'normal' call volumes for the industry.
Now, nearly two months and a few additions to the Green List later, the landscape is different again. The 24th of June saw holidaymakers get the nod to head to some extremely popular destinations, including Malta, Madeira, and the Balearics in Europe, alongside a handful of Caribbean islands. There are now 27 territories for vacationers to choose from – more than double the number from early May – however, the cautious approach to reopening foreign travel has seen some destinations placed on a watch list.
With the threat of quarantine looming and choice still restricted, we thought it was about time to take another look at our data to see how the Green List reshuffle has affected call volumes in the industry.
Despite limited choice and sixteen of the 27 Green List destinations currently on a watch list, call volumes have soared.
Our data shows that calls to travel brands are up a touch over 28% compared to the week before the Green List was updated. We’ve not seen numbers this high since March 2020.
Despite being 9% higher than the volumes recorded at the same time last year, unsurprisingly, they’re yet to reach pre-pandemic levels. While there’s still a way to go, it’s essential to acknowledge that call volumes are heading in the right direction.
Customers are starting to pick up the phone again, and travel brands must explore how those phone calls can be used to drive marketing efficiencies and empower positive sales outcomes.
To make the most of this spike in calls, travel companies like Scott Dunn, Titan Travel, and Flight Centre use Infinity to unearth the insights needed to expand their margins.
By arming themselves with call intelligence, Blue Bay achieved a 174% uplift in PPC bookings and slashed their cost per booking by 32%.