Here at Melt, we’ve been closely monitoring Google trends data throughout the pandemic to gauge the levels of search interest across key travel sectors such as; flights, hotels, holidays, cruises and car hire in order to anticipate which areas will return to peak first (score of 100), and what trends might emerge in this new unknown landscape.
Our aim is simple: to help you navigate a complex Covid-19 landscape that is in constant flux.
Again, as per our messaging in previous months, Google Trends data should be used 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” data at scale within the defined category (67 – Travel)
- 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 to get a sense of what queries are trending in each category.
Interest over time (YOY)
The cruise category covers queries related to cruise types, routes, and specific cruise liners.
We have also included a comparison between the UK and the US to highlight differences in travel trends for the two countries that are experiencing the pandemic differently.
As you can see above in fig 1, and fig 2, the cruise industry appears to be the travel segment hardest hit by the pandemic in terms of search interest, with both UK & US searches being a lot lower than in previous years. With both the UK and US, there has been a spike in week 35, but that would require further validation to see if that is a genuine trend that continues over the next few weeks.
Looking at the scale of 1 to 100 for trend scores across the UK & US graphs, you can see that the UK is searching on average, at a higher rate since March, and shows how the two countries attitude towards cruises have differed during this pandemic.
Rising queries: “Cruise” (UK, last 30 days)
These are rising queries related to “Cruises” within the travel category of Google trends for the last 30 days. The higher the value the sharper the increase in recent searches.
|orient queen cruise ship||9700|
|loch lomond cruises||250|
|river cruise london||200|
|cruise ship tracker||80|
|windermere lake cruises||80|
|cruise ships weymouth||70|
|bolsover cruise club||50|
|p and o cruises 2021||40|
Ignoring “Bella Cruise” which is in fact Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s child, and “orient queen cruise ship” which sunk as part of the devastating Beirut explosion we can see that searches are relatively limited compared to other segments and have lower rising values.
One trend we’re seeing is that river and loch cruises are on the rise, with searches like “river cruise london” and “loch lomond cruises” which are likely due to people staying in the UK as opposed to travelling internationally.
This is backed up by the below graph (fig 9), showing search interest over time for individual international cruise providers, which hasn’t seen the steep growth upturns like we’ve seen in accommodation types.
Fig 3: UK cruise providers searches over time
There is some hope looking at these rising queries with “cunard cruises”, “cruises 2020” and “p and o cruises 2021” which is higher than in previous months, potentially indicating that people are open to boarding a cruise in the future. The qualifying value of including a “21” or “22” in their search, indicates that people are likely to wait a couple of years before they feel confident to cruise again, or believe that’s when it will become possible without strict guidelines.
We hope you’ve found these trends and insights useful, and hope to see you back here next month to find out how these trends play out over time for the travel sector.
If you’d like us to monitor any particular trends for you travel or non-travel get in touch via [email protected].