Welcome to the second instalment of our series that takes a closer look at the latest data from Google Trends across a number of key travel industries. The focus of this article is accommodation, but you can find similar posts for flights, holidays, cruises, and car hire by tapping on the respective links (they’re not all live yet, so check back in for updates).
Our aim is simple: to help you navigate a complex Covid-19 landscape that is in constant flux by providing you with insight into our analysis of search interest for accommodation.
Again, as per our messaging in earlier blogs, Google Trends data should be seen as a guide. It’s recommended that you validate any trends data with qualitative and quantitative metrics before taking action.
- Defined an initial list of searches for each category
- Used Google Trends API to pull “interest over time” and “related queries” data at scale for against the travel category (67)
- Visualised summed averaged for each category by week in the “interest over time” graphs
- Analysed rising queries within “related queries” tables from the last 30 days
Interest over time (YOY)
The accommodation category covers queries relating to popular lodging types such as ‘B&B’, ‘hotels’, ‘apartments’ and ‘camping’.
This month we’ve included a comparison between the UK and US to highlight differences in travel trends for two countries that are experiencing the pandemic differently.
As you can see in the graphs above, the UK and US both returned to previous year levels in July. The UK returned to normal accommodation search levels in week 29 (July 2020) and also went on to surpass 2018 and 2019 levels in week 31 (July–Aug 2020).
While the UK experienced slower growth initially, it rapidly increased from week 22 (May 2020) when lockdown restrictions began to ease and consumer confidence started to rise.
In contrast, the US experienced a sharper and earlier increase from week 13 (March 2020), which then stagnated in June as well as for the majority of July. That said, it’s now starting to show signs of growth again.
Rising queries: “Hotels” (UK, last 30 Days)
The table below shows the rising queries related to “hotels” within the travel category of Google trends for the last 30 days. The higher the value, the sharper the increase in recent searches.
|torridon hotel scotland||32600|
|hotels in rye||12650|
|5 star hotels scotland||12300|
|las vegas strip hotels with complimentary breakfast||11550|
|qe2 hotel dubai||10850|
|the torridon hotel scotland||8050|
|hotels near chester zoo||7550|
|amsterdam flights and hotel||6850|
|the big blue hotel||6700|
|st georges hotel llandudno||5550|
|italian restaurant excalibur hotel||4450|
|hatton court hotel||4400|
|hotel indigo york||3700|
|ideal prime beach hotel||3650|
|brooks hotel edinburgh||3650|
|hartland quay hotel||3450|
|sea marge hotel||3300|
According to rising trends over the last 30 days, Scotland has seen a boom in search interest for queries related to hotels.
There are various reasons for this. For example, searches for “torridon hotel scotland” was likely shaped by The Torridon appearing on BBC Two’s Amazing Hotels, while searches for “moorfield hotel” were probably largely in response to news about a fire at the hotel which caused significant damage. Elsewhere, searches for “crerar hotels” can be attributed to the hotel being recognised for giving away free stays for NHS keyworkers..
What this shows is that a seemingly simple search is not so simple – it’s why you always need to validate any Google Trends data to get a fuller, deeper and more accurate picture.
Since travel restrictions have eased, we’ve also observed in the data that ‘luxury’ is increasingly of interest to people searching for accommodation. You can see below the steep rise in ‘luxury’ searches compared to ‘cheap’.
Although it’s difficult to prove without further validation, it could be argued that prospective travellers are associating ‘cheap’ with greater risk when booking accommodation.
This month it’s again evident that consumers are continuing to choose to stay in the UK and Ireland, as opposed to booking accommodation abroad. Only Amsterdam and, strangely, Las Vegas have appeared in rising searches.
We’ve also noticed more searches for hotels near attractions. For example, searches for “hotels near chester zoo” was high in July, which may well be a trend that travel marketers could look to optimise for.
When looking at accommodation types beyond hotels, campsite searches continue to be closer to their usual summer peak numbers, meaning it appears to be unaffected due to its remote, socially distanced nature.
Cottages and guesthouses are also proving to be popular alternatives to hotels, with both experiencing growth in July. They’re both worth keeping an eye on.
We hope you’ve found these trends and insights useful. And we hope to see you back here next month to learn about how they play out over time for the travel industry.
If you’d like us to monitor any particular trends for you travel or non-travel get in touch.