However, as travel rebounds, new trends have emerged that show it is still far from ‘normal’. Squaremouth Analytics compared thousands of travel insurance policies purchased pre-and-post-pandemic to identify trends and changes in how travellers are booking their summer trips. The data revealed five travel trends that showcase the new normal.
While international travel has always accounted for the majority of Squaremouth sales, border closures in 2020 forced travellers to stay closer to home. Prior to the pandemic, international travel comprised nearly 90 per cent of Squaremouth sales. In summer 2020, over 40 per cent of travellers remained stateside, the highest amount in Squaremouth history. In summer 2021, international travel rebounded to roughly 80 per cent of sales.
As borders reopen, pent-up demand has led to travellers booking last-minute trips abroad. Historically, travellers purchased insurance at least 50 days before their trip. In 2020, travellers were planning even further ahead, as this number doubled to over 100 days for international trips. In summer 2021, Squaremouth reports travellers going abroad purchased insurance just 25 days before their trip.
Domestic travellers spend more
For the first time, domestic travellers are spending more than international travellers. In summer 2021, the average cost of a domestic trip was 22-per-cent more than an international trip. Overall, travellers are spending about the same as they did prior to the pandemic, with an average trip cost around $3,600.
The average age of travel insurance consumers is still well below the historical average. Prior to the pandemic, travellers in the Baby Boomer and Silent generations comprised nearly half of all Squaremouth customers. In summer 2021, only 25 per cent of travellers came from the Baby Boomer and Silent generations. Millennial and Gen X travellers are now the largest demographic, each accounting for more than 25 per cent of travellers.
Caribbean countries that remained open throughout the pandemic continue to lead in popularity, even as borders reopen. This summer, Mexico, Turks and Caicos, and Costa Rica were the top-three international destinations on Squaremouth. Prior to the pandemic, Canada, Italy, France, and the UK were the most popular among US tourists.