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 holiday category covers queries relating to popular holiday types. They include keywords such as winter holidays, golf holidays, beach holidays, and driving holidays.
We have also included a comparison between the UK holidays and the US vacation searches to highlight differences in travel trends for two countries that are experiencing the pandemic differently.
fig 1: summed YOY comparison over time for UK keywords related to holidays
fig 2: summed YOY comparison over time for US keywords related to vacations
UK holiday searches in week 35 (end of August), are at the same levels that they were at for the previous 2 years according to Google Trends (fig 1). This indicates that despite the restrictions in travel, UK consumers are still interested in pursuing holidays of some kind, whether they are what they may have originally planned or not. Looking at the graph in both 2018 and 2019 search interest for “holidays” tends to drop from week 35, so it will be interesting to see if this trend follows suit in 2020, with the pandemic on-going. It will also be interesting to see the impact of children going back to school in next month’s report.
In the US according to the data, vacation searches were on a steeper growth earlier in the pandemic (week 17-23), but searches have plateaued in recent weeks. However, overall vacation searches appear to be in a healthy place versus previous years in the US.
Rising queries: “Holidays” (UK, last 30 days)
These are rising queries related to “Holidays” within the travel category of Google trends for the last 30 days. The higher the value the sharper the increase in recent searches.
|castaways holiday park||12150|
|brokerswood holiday park||4700|
|stella island crete holidays||400|
|last minute holidays to greece||300|
|portugal holidays 2020||300|
|seaview holiday park kent||200|
|holidays to mykonos||200|
|cornish cottage holidays||200|
|all inclusive holidays to greece||170|
|holidays to portugal||170|
|tui holidays to greece||160|
|tui holidays to turkey||140|
|all inclusive holidays to turkey||140|
|tui last minute holidays||140|
|golden sands holiday park rhyl||130|
|last minute uk holidays||130|
|alberta holiday park||110|
|seton sands holiday village||110|
|holidays to turkey 2021||110|
Looking at the top four rising queries for “holidays”, we noticed that UK holiday parks and hotels are still the highest scorers this month, as opposed to holidays abroad. Holiday parks have also been given a boost from the government as they are now allowed to stay open past October, which will hopefully facilitate parks being able to recoup some money lost during the pandemic.
Outside of the UK there is a lot of promise for the travel industry, specifically within the holiday category of the report. We have seen lots of searches for various Greek islands in particular “holidays to mykonos” and other European countries such as Portugal and Turkey proved to be popular. We are also starting to see “All inclusive” appear again, which is surprising with current restrictions against buffets and shared dining. However, with Greece and Portugal on the governments quarantine watch list, this might dramatically change within the next month or so, which shows how important it is to react to these trends in a timely manner.
When delving down into a subset of individual queries over time (Fig 3), we’ve spotted two trends in the data, “last minute holidays” and more recently “winter sun holidays”. This is backed up with the rising queries for “last minute holidays to greece” scoring highly. “Winter sun holidays” as you can see below (dark blue) has spiked in the last week, so this will be one to keep an eye on and validate over the next few weeks.
Fig 3: Holiday type searches over time
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].