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Expedia Group: Strong Optimism as Int’l Travel Searches Rise in Q2

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Continued search growth and shifting traveler behavior and attitudes are some of the key findings of the Q2 Trend Report for Travel Recovery that was recently released by Expedia Group Media Solutions.

“Throughout Q2, we continued to see strong global search growth, rising international searches and lengthening search windows, among other key milestones,” said Expedia Group Media Solutions Senior Vice President Wendy Olson Killion.

“Our optimism for a near-term travel rebound remains strong,” she added.

The quarterly report combines Expedia Group’s first-party data and custom research with actionable insights to help travel marketers on their road to recovery.

Key findings from the Expedia Group Media Solutions Q2 2021 Travel Recovery Trend Report include:

  • Searches growing globally

Building on the momentum seen in Q1, monthly global search volumes continued to grow in Q2, increasing more than 70 percent quarter-over-quarter.

The ongoing rollout of Covid-19 vaccines and changes to travel restrictions around the world further drove searches, contributing to steady week-on-week volume.

  • Search windows lengthening globally

As travelers continued to opt for trips closer to home in Q2, half of global searches again fell within the 0 to 21 days search window. However, the global search window is lengthening, indicating that traveler confidence is rising, and they are taking advantage of summer travel and starting to plan trips further out. Global searches 22 to 90 days out accounted for more than 35 percent of searches in Q2, up nearly 25 percen quarter-over-quarter.

Fifty-five percent of global domestic searches fell within the 0 to 21 days search window, while searches 22 to 90 days out increased by nearly 20 percent quarter-over-quarter.

Global international searches for the 31 to 90 days out search window increased 30 percent from Q1.

  • Positive signs for international travel

Although travel shoppers continue to show preference for domestic travel, global international searches in Q2 show signs of a rebound. During multiple weeks in Q2, global international search growth outpaced domestic, likely in part due to broadening global vaccine distribution, growing green lists and easing international travel restrictions in parts of the world.

The positive impact of vaccination progress is visible in Q2 international search data. When compared to search volumes during Q2 2020, EMEA, APAC and LATAM all saw increased search volumes from America in Q2 2021, showing that travel to destinations within these regions represent an attractive opportunity for vaccinated Americans.

  • Big cities in the spotlight

During Q2, beach and city destinations made up the top 10 booked destinations around the world, though more cities are entering the top 10 or moving up in ranking in each region, including Chicago and Atlanta (NORAM); Seoul and Jeju City (APAC); Copenhagen and Paris (EMEA); and Houston and Mexico City (LATAM).

New York, USA

New York, USA

New York made the list of top 10 booked destinations globally, and within all regions, except APAC.

The growing popularity of city destinations dovetailed with rising hotel demand during Q2. Global hotel demand increased more than 10 percent quarter-over-quarter, while global hotel length-of-stay remained consistent with the average trip duration seen in Q1.

  • Renewed interest in sustainable travel

Travelers are increasingly interested in sustainable travel practices, whether that’s reducing their carbon footprint or easing the burden of over-tourism in a travel hotspot. Recent research from Expedia Group and Wakefield shows that nearly three in five travellers are willing to pay additional fees so their trip can be more sustainable, indicating that they consider environmental and social consciousness to be worthwhile.

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