eDreams ODIGEO, an online travel company, published its annual study “A Year in Travel by eDreams ODIGEO”, which provides an overview of the past year and makes predictions for 2021, including the popularity of Lisbon for travellers next year.

Travel before pandemic and confinement
Between January and March 2020, Portuguese travelled mostly abroad: the most sought after destinations were major European cities such as Paris, London, Barcelona, Madrid and Amsterdam. At the beginning of the year, stays of 3-4 days were the favourite (46 percent), followed by short “escapes” of only 2 days (21 percent).

For travellers from the European continent, the city with the most demand in the first months of the year was London. Lisbon and Porto were also in the Top 10 of favourite destinations, in sixth and tenth place respectively.

The changes brought about by the pandemic
With the arrival of the Covid-19 outbreak, habits and options were completely changed - movement restrictions were different in each country, borders were not being opened at the same time in all places, and the situation was constantly changing.

Between April and June, the destinations most researched by the Portuguese in the ODIGEO eDreams tools were Paris, São Paulo and London. However, the places they ended up travelling to the most in the summer did not fully match their search for confinement - between June and September, the most popular travel destinations for the Portuguese were Paris, Ponta Delgada and Funchal.

When Pfizer announced its Covid-19 vaccine on 9 November, eDreams ODIGEO analysed the effect on research trends - that same day Portuguese travel searches increased 13 percent over the previous day, and in the week between 9 and 15 November searches increased 6 percent over the previous day.

Lisbon top for European travellers
According to the ODIGEO eDreams study Lisbon is at the top of the destinations with the most bookings for 2021. This is followed by Istanbul (Turkey), Fort de France (Martinique), Palma de Majorca and Tenerife (Spain). Though short and medium distance destinations still predominate in preferences, the emergence of the Covid-19 vaccine should change this scenario, allowing travellers to venture further away.

The survey concluded positively stating that “European travellers are optimistic, but still cautious about their plans. However, the outlook is encouraging and it is expected that 2021 will be a much more positive year when it comes to travelling”.