As we all know, the travel industry has been one of the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. And while it market remains challenging and consumer confidence unpredictable, there is, nevertheless, growing optimism about traveling again as lockdown restrictions begin to ease in the UK, Europe and more globally.

Here at Melt we’ve been closely monitoring Google Trends data throughout the pandemic to assess the levels of search interest across key travel segments, including flights, hotels, holidays, cruises and car hire. We’re keen to anticipate which areas will return to so-called normal levels first, and also identify what trends might emerge in this new and unknown landscape to better assist our clients.

But why stop there? We will now be sharing some of these insights monthly to help digital marketers and travel businesses be better prepared for the inevitable return of travel demand, which you’ll be pleased to hear is already underway.

One final note before we delve in. It’s important to remember that Google Trends data is very much a guide and that any trend should be validated with other qualitative and quantitative metrics before taking action. That said, it’s hoped that the following data will give you a steer on where to investigate next.


  • 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

How to read the graphs

  • The graphs represent the average trend score for the set of keywords defined in that category for the last three years split by week
  • The pink shaded area represents 2020 to date. The other colours represent previous years
  • Google trends is scored out of 100, which indicates its peak. The closer the data point is to 100, the more frequently people are searching


Interest over time (YOY)

The cruise category covers queries relating to cruise types, routes, and specific cruise liners.

As you can see below, in terms of overall search across the category, the growth has been a lot slower for the cruise industry:

Rising queries: “Cruises” (Last 30 Days)

The following table presents the rising related queries in order of value that Google Trends associates to the keyword “cruise” during the past 30 days:


Rising Value

ocean diamond cruise


cruise and maritime news


viking sky cruise ship


emerald river cruises


global cruise lines


cruise ship glasgow


river cruises 2021


viking cruises 2021


avalon river cruises


cruises from southampton 2021

iona cruise ship


mediterranean cruise


viking river cruises


tui cruises 2021


azamara cruises

avalon cruises


oceana cruise ship


po cruises 2021


cruise maritime

p and o cruises 2021


carnival cruise


cruise and maritime


viking cruises


cruises 2021


celebrity cruises


norwegian cruise line

cruise critic forum


oceania cruises


river cruises


Melt takeaways

While the cruise industry isn’t recovering as sharply as other travel industries, there’s some reason to be cautiously optimistic. As shown above, people are searching for specific cruise brands like P&O and Viking Cruises in combination with 2021. This suggests there is some interest in cruise breaks, but more over the long-term.

Some of the more specific searches relating to the cruise operator Viking Cruises we can probably attribute to press coverage of a recent episode of Channel 5’s Cruising with Jane McDonald, during which the singer and TV personality gave viewers a glimpse into the ship’s luxurious quarters.

We have also been monitoring cruise line providers to get a better understanding of how the industry has been performing since the pandemic. Unlike other travel industries, specific cruise brand searches have been fluctuating a lot since February – and they don’t appear to be picking up. This suggests that for the rest of 2020, the outlook is remains challenging. That said, there’s indication that 2021 does, at present, seem to be a more realistic recovery date.

We hope you’ve found these accommodation travel trends and insights useful. If so, check back in next month for more of the same. If you’d like us to monitor any particular trends for you travel or non-travel get in touch here.