Travel Payments

Trivago's Axel Hefer Says Falling Travel Demand Connected To Virus Surge

The surge in coronavirus cases has caused interest in travel to drop, according to CNBC, speaking with Trivago chief executive Axel Hefer.

Hefer attributed the drop to the basic decline in interest resulting from the health crisis.

“You can clearly see that when there is a significant improvement in the health situation, and also clear communication from the government that it is safe to travel, that there is an increase in demand,” he said, according to CNBC.

Travel was at an all-time low in April as the country was on lockdown due to the virus, with less than 100,000 people going through TSA checkpoints on some days. A Karen Webster roundtable from April found executives lamenting the absurd and distressing state of things, such as the mass cancellations and refunds needed as the virus came down swiftly.

But as travel restrictions began to ease in late May and the country began to inch toward a hopeful reopening, people eased their cautions at first. In mid-June, travel statistics had hit 39 percent of what they were pre-pandemic in January, CNBC wrote.

That all came to an end with the recent spikes in virus cases, particularly in the South and West of the country. Now, travel has fallen 30 percent yet again. Hefer said the future looked like a “bumpy ride” due to the tenuous nature of reopenings, as three of the top states on Triviago's travel destinations are Florida, California and Texas - and all three have reported tremendous rises in cases and hospitalizations.

That could be due in part to the 4th of July holiday, which saw many Americans rolling the dice and traveling despite knowing the virus was still out there.

Hefer said the trend seemed to be veering toward people traveling within their own home state, saying that people “want to control their transportation and go to their location and come back fully independently,” according to CNBC.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW WE SHOP – SEPTEMBER 2020 

The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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