It’s clear by now that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a devastating blow to international travel, but research from travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth sheds new light on just how hard the impact has been.
Analyzing travel insurance policies purchased through Squaremouth over the past year (September 12, 2019 – September 11, 2020) for all future travel and comparing the six months prior to the pandemic (September 12, 2019 – March 11, 2020) to the six months since it was declared (March 12, 2020 – September 11, 2020), the site found that international trips account for only 47 percent of all insured travel over the last six months compared to 86 percent before the start of the pandemic.
The United States is the only top destination to experience an increase in travelers for trips booked amidst the coronavirus crisis (plus-7.48 percent) as Americans still feel most comfortable taking domestic getaways. The remaining nine top destinations in the six months prior to the pandemic have all seen dramatic dropoffs by comparison:
—Mexico (minus-75.15 percent)
—Italy (minus-93.89 percent)
—France (minus-90.78 percent)
—Canada (minus-74.92 percent)
—Spain (minus-93.16 percent)
—United Kingdom (minus-84.27 percent)
—Bahamas (minus-83.53 percent)
—Israel (minus-86.55 percent)
—Costa Rica (minus-91.64 percent)
Squaremouth has also seen a significant change in the top 10 international destinations since the pandemic began as travel restrictions in places like Europe continue to limit the places Americans can go. Since March, more travelers are targeting accessible destinations like Mexico and the Caribbean, with destinations like the U.S. Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos and Jamaica overtaking European favorites such as Italy, Spain and Germany.
Fortunately, earlier data from Squaremouth found that Americans do want to travel internationally in 2021, with 65 percent of trips booked for next year being to international destinations.
Gallery: The Most Google Searched Destinations for a Post-Lockdown Vacation (TravelPulse)