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Expedia Group’s Latest Travel Report Shows Promising Signs of Global Recovery

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash
Expedia Group’s Latest Travel Report Shows Promising Signs of Global Recovery

Global travel advertising platform Expedia Group Media Solutions is showing +70 per cent quarter-on-quarter increase in global searches, a lengthening of search windows and a rise in city bookings according to its latest Travel Recovery Trend Report.

The quarterly report combines Expedia Group first-party data and custom research with actionable insights to help travel marketers on their road to recovery.

“Throughout Q2, we continued to see strong global search growth, rising international searches and lengthening search windows, among other key milestones,” said Wendy Olson Killion, Senior Vice President, Media Solutions.

“Our optimism for the near-term travel rebound remains strong, and the latest Travel Recovery Trend Report will provide travel brands with insight into shifting traveller behaviour and attitudes around the world, while also highlighting industry accomplishments and progress to-date.”

Key findings from the Expedia Group Media Solutions Q2 2021 Travel Recovery Trend Report include:

Searches Globally Are Growing

Building on the momentum seen in Q1, monthly global search volumes continued to grow in Q2, increasing more than 70% quarter-over-quarter.

The ongoing rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and changes to travel restrictions around the world further drove searches, contributing to steady week-on-week volume.

In Q2, positive global search volume was seen during 11 of the 13 weeks in the quarter – a sharp contrast to the fluctuations seen throughout Q1 and 2020.

The sustained quarter-over-quarter global search volumes also align with a more optimistic consumer attitude for post-pandemic travel.

According to Expedia Group’s Traveler Value Index Research, which surveyed respondents in eight countries around the world, 72 per cent of consumers are planning on travelling over the next 12 months.

Search Windows Lengthening Globally

As travellers continued to opt for trips closer to home in Q2, half of global searches again fell within the 0 to 21 days search window.

However, the global search window is lengthening, indicating that traveller confidence is rising, and they are taking advantage of summer travel and starting to plan trips further out.

Global searches 22 to 90 days out accounted for more than 35 per cent of searches in Q2, up nearly 25 per cent quarter-over-quarter.

In EMEA, searches 22 to 90 days out represented more than 40 per cent of international searches in Q2, up from 15 per cent in Q1.

Positive Signs for International Travel

Although travel shoppers continue to show preference for domestic travel, global international searches in Q2 show signs of a rebound.

During multiple weeks in Q2, global international search growth outpaced domestic, likely in part due to broadening global vaccine distribution, growing green lists and easing international travel restrictions in parts of the world. 

 The positive impact of vaccination progress is visible in Q2 international search data.

When compared to search volumes during Q2 2020, EMEA, APAC and LATAM all saw increased search volumes from America in Q2 2021, showing that travel to destinations within these regions represent an attractive opportunity for vaccinated Americans.

Big Cities in the Spotlight

During Q2, beach and city destinations made up the top 10 booked destinations around the world, though more cities are entering the top 10 or moving up in ranking in each region, including Chicago and Atlanta (NORAM); Seoul and Jeju City (APAC); Copenhagen and Paris (EMEA); and Houston and Mexico City (LATAM).

New York made the list of top 10 booked destinations globally, and within all regions, except APAC. 

The growing popularity of city destinations dovetailed with rising hotel demand during Q2.

Global hotel demand increased more than 10 per cent quarter-over-quarter, while global hotel length-of-stay remained consistent with the average trip duration seen in Q1. 

Renewed Interest in Sustainable Travel

Travellers are increasingly interested in sustainable travel practices, whether that’s reducing their carbon footprint or easing the burden of over-tourism in a travel hotspot.

Recent research from Expedia Group and Wakefield shows that nearly three in five travellers are willing to pay additional fees so their trip can be more sustainable, indicating that they consider environmental and social consciousness to be worthwhile. 

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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