UK Media & Consumer Market Update — June 10, 2020
Accurate as of: 10 June 2020
Current UK status:
Visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus for all official information.
- As of 9am on 9 June 2020, a total of 5,870,506 people have been tested for coronavirus (COVID-19), of which 289,140 were confirmed positive.
- 40,883 patients in the UK who tested positive for COVID-19 have died.
- The UK is now considered the worst affected country in Europe, exceeding the death toll of Italy and Spain. The US remains the worst affected country in the world (over 2 million cases), followed by Brazil (742,000 cases) and Russia (493,000 cases).
- The current lockdown rules include those who cannot work at home are now encouraged to go to work if they can safety practice social distancing at the same time.
- People may now enjoy time in groups of up to 6 people in a back garden or public space, as long as they can maintain the 2m social distancing rule.
- Exercise outdoors is unlimited for those in England. Gyms, tourist attractions, restaurants and the like all remain closed. Driving is permitted, and use of public transport is strongly discouraged.
- Non-essential shops are permitted to re-open from 15 June, pending they can provide a safe shopping experience.
- Primary schools have started to reopen, while secondary schools will begin to reopen from 15 June.
- The ‘out of lockdown’ roadmap is conditional, however if all goes to plan, the earliest that we would see UK domestic tourism kick-starting is in July. International travel is not expected to begin again until July at the earliest and is dependent on FCO advice.
UK travel restrictions:
Visit www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-office for all official information.
- As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.
- A 14-day mandatory quarantine for all UK arrivals from 8 June (except from Ireland, Channel Islands, and Isle of Man) has begun. It affects anyone arriving by plane, train or ferry.
- UK travellers are still banned from entering the US, as well as many other countries around the world. However, some countries have scheduled border openings and will allow UK visitors, such as Italy (from June) and Spain (from July).
- Travel bosses have suspended their legal action against the mandatory 14-day quarantine after being privately assured air bridges will be in place by 29 June (Telegraph / TTG).
- However, with no solid plans yet revealed by the Government, speculation around what discussions are being had is circulating, for example, Spain is not discussing an air bridge with the UK, according to reports – a government source told Reuters that they are not considering the measure, which would allow Brits to skip quarantine, “at the moment” (Mirror).
- Self-catering accommodation and campsites in England are set to reopen on 4 July (Guardian).
- The government is being urged by Abta to bring forward a co-ordinated plan for restarting international travel (Travel Weekly).
- Media are still seeking destination/product news and openings, health & safety measure updates, data/trend stories and travel story ideas. However, health & safety measure stories need to have something innovative and use new technology to be newsworthy.
- Any survey stories need to be of a decent sample size (2,500 plus) and robust.
- As the travel media teams are smaller now, journalists want to speak with MDs and CEOs directly for interviews and would prefer not to send questions over to PRs in advance; time is of the essence right now.
- We are seeing a lot of media requests for UK travel and staycations, but increased interest in international travel to nearby European destinations that the UK may have an air bridge with.
- Travel content relating to flight-free travel, natural landscapes, the outdoors, escapism, and getting active is increasingly sought, as following global lockdowns people believe that holidays incorporating the great outdoors will be popular.
- Camping, sports, cycling, hiking holiday ideas are sought at the moment, focusing on the UK and Ireland.
- General feedback from publications is that press trips are on hold, but they will look at trip invitations from September and October onwards (although 2021 is looking like the safest option). They may not be able to commit 100% just yet, however.
- Travel teams are still very small, with post publications putting a large percentage of their staff on furlough. Media feedback has been quite minimal, likely because those who are still working have an increased workload.
- The Black Lives Matter Movement is high on the news agenda alongside COVID-19, with worldwide protests taking place and campaigns against violence and systemic racism gaining global traction.
- Kuoni says that 2021 bookings are on the up, with the Maldives the top booking destination, followed by Mauritius, Thailand, Spain and India. (TTG).
- Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary claimed bookings have increased 100 per cent in July and August after relaunching flights to Europe (The Sun).
- Searches for package holidays to popular European destinations have risen in the past two weeks as countries move to reopen their borders to tourists following lockdown. Interest in holidays to Spain between 1 July and 31 October have increased by 52%, Greece by 51% and Portugal by 38% (Travel Weekly).
- Discounts of as much of 48% are being used to stimulate the summer 2020 market, according to research by Travel Supermarket. Rates have dropped to many Spanish destinations including Tenerife (-19%), Lanzarote (-17%), Majorca (-13%) and Fuerteventura (-10%). The average price of a package holiday to many of the Greek islands has also dropped by as much 21% to Zante and 16% to Rhodes. (TTG / Travel Weekly).
- British households are expected to rack up debts worth a combined £6bn because of the coronavirus crisis, as millions of people fall behind on credit card payments, council tax and utility bills (Guardian).
- The contractions in UK retail sales and consumer spending eased in May as some lockdown measures were relaxed, but both still recorded the second-sharpest fall on record after April’s low as swaths of the economy remained closed. The value of retail sales dropped 5.9 per cent in May compared with the same month last year, according to data from the advisory services firm KPMG and the British Retail Consortium, an industry body (Financial Times).
- Some 8.9 million workers are now covered by the government’s furlough scheme, the Treasury has said. More than a quarter of the UK workforce is now being supported by it and the cost so far has reached £19.6bn. The scheme was originally intended to last until the end of July, but has now been extended until the end of October (BBC).
- Not a lot of progress on the Trump v. Twitter debacle but Facebook’s been fighting a battle internally after Zuckerberg’s unmoved approach to the President’s controversial posts.
- Facebook’s making it easier for users to switch from personal to business inboxes in Messenger so that responding to customer enquiries is more straightforward. Messaging’s increased overall during COVID so any social managers (Roosters included) handling large volumes of queries will find this pretty useful.
- In an effort to push the platform as a bit more of a search engine — hence Google’s sheer dominance — Facebook’s started adding Wikipedia knowledge boxes in search results. Largely a response to accusations of misinformation, the social giant’s looking to legitimise the way people find, consume, and validate knowledge on the platform. Baby steps, you know.
- Messenger and Instagram Direct integration continues as the two platforms look to better play ball. Whether this feeds into the business updates above is still TBA but that would seem to be the obvious play. Imagine advertising in WhatsApp with a messaging CTA and being able to respond to queries from the same inbox as the rest of your Facebook and Instagram enquiries. Bliss.
- Last week we flagged a TikTok competitor that’s raised a bunch of cash but, this week, they’ve been taken down off the Google Play Store for — guess what… — violating copyright. Obviously copyright violation is rife on the Internet but if you mix that in with a well-funded public contender for the throne of the most downloaded app in a single quarter that’s also a pyramid scheme you raise some eyebrows.
- Twitter’s Fleets (the microblogging site’s version of Stories) have launched in India after a rollout in Brazil and Italy. Keen to get our hands on them in the UK so stay tuned for updates.
- Zoom, while not technically a social network, has been facilitating an enormous amount of communication globally. They’ve had their battles with privacy and are now declaring that an advanced end-to-end encryption security setting won’t be available to free users. Likely not much of a deterrent for smaller users like businesses and individuals — depending on your relationship to the endlessly churning waters of online privacy — but definitely something for corporations and, especially, government entities to keep in mind.
- TikTok is also opening up its ads onboarding process more broadly though UK advertisers can only submit their expressions of interest. We’ve submitted our expression as Rooster so stay tuned for updates, learnings, and service offerings in the future.