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After foreign destinations became more popular than domestic holidays in June and the number of bookings was at the level of 2019, the travel industry collapsed again in July. Holidaymakers are mainly looking for destinations in the Netherlands again and the number of bookings has fallen by 25 percent in a week. This is evident from the Zoover Vakantiemonitor, which analyzes the search and booking behavior of millions of visitors to the review and booking site Zoover. The cause is the explosive growth in the number of corona infections and the tightened measures that the cabinet has announced.

“People are afraid that our country will be color coded red and that special measures will apply to their holiday destinations. What is happening now is dramatic for the travel industry.”

Zoover offers 15.000 package holidays from almost all travel providers and can therefore give a clear indication of the booking behavior of holidaymakers. Every year, 30 million visitors search the site for holiday destinations, so that Zoover can see which are the most popular countries and regions. At the beginning of this year, the Netherlands was by far the most popular holiday destination and people mainly looked for holidays in Limburg, Overijssel, Gelderland and Zeeland. Then came the car holidays in France and Italy. That changed in the second quarter of 2021 and foreign destinations became increasingly popular. In June, as more countries turned yellow and all holiday lights turned green, the number of foreign holiday bookings increased tenfold compared to the first quarter.

According to the Zoover Holiday Monitor, trips to Spain, Greece and Turkey were the top 3 and islands such as Mallorca, Ibiza, Crete and other Spanish and Greek islands were the most popular. In week 24, mid-June, almost all destinations were back at the level of 2019. The Netherlands was the most popular in search behavior throughout the year, but in the same week 24 France, Spain and Greece surpassed our country in terms of popularity and were searched the most. on holidays in regions in France and Spain and the Greek islands. However, since last weekend everything has completely collapsed. The Netherlands is again the most popular holiday destination, but this is not reflected in the number of bookings. 

“We are not yet seeing a rush on holidays in the Netherlands, but there is also very little available. It is striking that Turkey remains popular in terms of both book and search behaviour, even though that country was colored orange. On the one hand, people with a double passport can still travel to that country. On the other hand, Turkey is less strict in terms of measures. That is why it remains popular with travelers.”

Zoover has become known for the reviews that travelers leave on the website. A ranking of the best-rated destinations is therefore also shown in the Holiday Monitor. The Dominican Republic has been leading that ranking all year with an average score of 9,6. That's because the country offers luxury resorts and white bounty beaches at a relatively affordable price. This is followed by Turkey (9,5), Italy (9,1) and Greece (9).

Also read: Frank Oostdam tries to save the travel sector

This graph shows the search behavior of Dutch holidaymakers and shows the most popular destinations.