COVID-19 Analysis – Florida & Northeastern United States
- Posted by Brett Perry
- On April 29, 2020
States across the nation are loosening their stay-at-home orders while some businesses are reopening in phases in order to mitigate the potential of a second wave. There has been a slight uptick in COVID-19 cases as testing capabilities have increased, but not at an alarming rate. However, certain states are still seeing a downward trend and in places like Florida, we are noticing shopping patterns that suggest an increased interest in travel. In layman’s terms, more people are shopping and they’re looking for stays in the near future. Check out the most recent data as we journey through Florida and the Northeastern United States.
Featured Market: Florida
Shopping Window Decreased by 20%
Florida hotels have seen a significant drop in the user shopping window. In the three weeks since April 5th, there has been a 20% decrease in the average shopping window. At the beginning of the month, users were looking up to four months out for travel to Florida. As of last week, that number has dipped closer to three months. For the first time in the month of April, the majority of users were looking to stay within 1-30 days as opposed to 90+. What does this mean? The demand for travel is shifting to the near future. Users are becoming more comfortable with the idea of traveling to Florida and are looking for it sooner than expected.
Prospective Florida Travel Increased by 58%
While the shopping window has decreased, prospective travel to Florida has made a gigantic leap. At Screen Pilot, we are measuring shopping visits whenever a user inputs a date into the booking engine. Since the start of April, there has been a weekly increase in shopping visits to Florida hotels. As of April 25th, we measured over a 50% increase in shopping visits to Florida from the start of the month. Pairing this information with the decreased shopping window indicates a strong shift in travel demand for the state. More people are looking to plan a vacation to Florida and they’re hoping to do it in the next three months. Below, we can see the weekly shift in user shopping behavior.
Summer Months Gaining Traction
As you may have already assumed, the decrease in shopping windows implies users are gearing up for summer travel. The numbers back this up. Last week, June and July saw a combined 25% of the shopping visits for Florida properties. While the majority of users looked for May travel, the realistic timeline for booking vacation will shift closer to the summer months. As long as Florida continues the downtrend in COVID-19 cases, hotels may want to prepare for an influx of travel from June to September.
Featured Region: Northeastern United States
With states like New York and New Jersey, the Northeast contains the most volume of COVID-19 cases in the nation. However, prospective travel is starting to pick up as the average cases continue to decline. Since the beginning of April, we have seen a 25% increase in the number of shopping visits to hotels in the area. The increase suggests more people are interested in traveling to the Northeast.
At Screen Pilot, we are working to determine where these shoppers are coming from. In the Northeast, most of the activity resides in the drive market. Considering the close proximity of these states, it is not a surprise that the drive market is seeing such a boon in shopping activity. Once restrictions are lowered, it will be smart for hotels to focus on travelers in the surrounding area that are able to get to the property sooner.
If you’re located outside of the Northeast, check out your region here.
Shopping Window by State
Knowing where potential guests are coming from is a huge advantage as hotels start to get back into paid media. Focusing on the drive market will be crucial for hotels in the Northeast. Users that live in the surrounding states will be able to get to the property sooner and may be looking for a quick vacation that gets them out of the house. Again, this is only after new guidelines are presented for reopening states. Properties may want to consider slowly ramping up paid media efforts and they can keep it controlled by initially targeting the drive market.
Shopping Window Time frame
When exactly are these users looking to travel? According to our data, the majority of people are still shopping in that 3+ month window. The summer months may be of huge importance once restrictions are lifted as over 40% of shopping visits took place between June – August. While the majority of shoppers are looking at 90+ days out, last week also saw a 20% increase in users shopping between 1-30 days. Some of that may be medical workers that need a place to stay, but it also shows that the window may be shrinking for future travel.