Expedia Trend Report Tracks Return From Travel
Expedia Group Media Solutions, the global digital advertising organization of Expedia Group, released its first-ever quarterly trend report today. The Q1 2021 Travel Recovery Trends Report features custom research and first-party data from the Expedia Group, combined with actionable insights to help ensure travel brands are better prepared for the future. reconnect and re-engage with travelers as spring and summer travel intensifies.
“The behaviors and preferences of travelers have changed dramatically over the past year, meaning that travel brands can no longer rely on historic marketing strategies to inform their recovery plans,” said Wendy Olson Killion, Senior Vice President of Media Solutions. “We know people can’t wait to start traveling again, but the way they interact with travel brands and their expectations has changed. This report highlights the latest data and trends to help travel brands develop strategies, messages and content that match what travelers want – and need – to book their next trip. “
Main conclusions of the report:
Global vaccine deployments boost return from travel
After a turbulent year for the travel industry in 2020, the start of 2021 saw travel take a turn with monthly search volumes showing strong growth throughout the first quarter. The increase in research and travel demand is linked to growing momentum for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and travel guidelines.
With one of the largest vaccine deployments in the world, research trends in the United States illustrate the correlation between major vaccine announcements and research growth from week to week. In week-to-week research, the week of March 15 saw the largest search spike – a 30% increase – following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publication of guidelines for fully immunized people. News from the CDC made 43% of Americans feel more comfortable traveling – or prompted them to book an upcoming trip.
The global search window remains short
Continuing a trend seen for much of last year, the majority of global searches for the first quarter of 2021 were in the zero to 21 day search window, as uncertainty surrounding global travel pushed travelers to opt for more opportunistic and short-term trips, often close to home. While this trend appears to be strengthening for domestic travel, longer search windows for international travel are starting to appear.
This trend is particularly pronounced in the EMEA region, where searches at 91 days or more accounted for almost 40% of international searches performed in Q1 2021, up from around 25% in Q4 2020. – In-type destinations or attractions -a-life seeking to attract long-haul travelers.
Domestic travel here for the foreseeable future
Even with the increased distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, many travelers continue to prioritize domestic travel over international travel and take trips closer to home. In the first quarter of 2021, beach and city destinations were the top 10 booked destinations in the world. Regionally, the top 10 most booked destinations also reflect beach and town destinations, albeit in the same region.
As travelers look to late spring and summer, road travel will continue to eclipse air travel and other modes of transportation. Recent custom research has revealed that for domestic and international travel to a neighboring country from April to September 2021, travelers consider driving their own car or rental car to be safer than other modes of transportation.
Compensate for lost time with longer journeys
Many travelers are making up for lost time this year by taking longer trips, planning to make full use of vacation days, and continuing to work remotely while traveling on ‘flexcations’ – longer stays that include work. and recreation. These longer trips benefit destinations and accommodation providers. Quarter over quarter, in the first quarter of 2021, vacation rental demand increased and the global average length of stay for vacation rentals jumped 30%.
Vrbo data shows vacation rental travelers are 75% more likely to book more stays of seven or more nights in vacation homes this summer, surpassing pre-pandemic levels and illustrating the opportunities for them. Travel marketers promote and encourage longer stays.
Health and hygiene expectations continue to evolve
Since the start of the pandemic, health and hygiene factors have become increasingly important to travelers. However, as consumer confidence continues to grow, there are signs that more traditional decision-making factors, such as cost, financial peace of mind, and convenience, are starting to reassert themselves.
When comparing the top five searched topics when booking flights for the past 12 months with the top five for the first quarter of 2021, the health and hygiene-focused considerations have been removed from the list. Topics such as general safety, cleanliness and congestion have been replaced by cost, the ability to change flights and navigation, among others.