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Travel Searches Surge as Covid-19 Restrictions Ease, Says Expedia

The further opening of borders and easing of Covid-19 restrictions–along with post-holiday promotions and potential return of seasonality– has led to a significant increase globally in travel searches across the Expedia Group branded sites.

In its Q1 2022 Travel Trend Report, the group reveals that search volume globally was up 25 percent quarter-over-quarter, led by double-digit growth in North America (NORAM) at 30 percent; and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) at 25 percent.

A prior- year comparison further illustrates just how much travel is returning, with search volume up 75 percent year-over-year globally compared to Q1 2021.

“As we look at the first quarter of 2022 and forward to the months ahead, we’re even more optimistic as travel intent is surging, search windows are lengthening, and travelers are investing in meaningful trips,” the group said.

Traveler confidence growing

With traveler confidence on the upswing, Expedia saw search windows continue to lengthen in Q1. Global share of searches in the 180+ day search window increased 190 percent and the 0- to 21–day search window decreased 15 percent quarter-over-quarter.

Not only did search windows lengthen, but the group also saw that travelers are planning both domestic and international trips further out, as they begin to plan for mid-year holidays. In Q1, 60 percent of global domestic searches fell within the 0- to 30–day window, a 10 percent decrease compared to Q4, 2021.

The share of searches in the 91- to 180–day window increased 80 percent quarter-over-quarter. Similarly, global international search share for the 91- to 180+ day window increased 35 percent quarter-over-quarter.

Big cities, beaches maintain appeal   

Source: Expedia Group Media Solutions / Q1 2022 Travel Trends Report

Major cities such as Las Vegas, New York, Chicago, and London remained popular with travelers and made the global top 10 list of booked destinations in Q1, along with beach destinations like Cancun, Punta Cana, Honolulu, and Miami.

Las Vegas topped the global list, surpassing New York, which held the No. 1 spot in Q3 and Q4 2021.

Lodging performance on the rise 

Photo source: @Expedia

Building on strong performance in Q4, global lodging bookings for hotels and vacation rentals combined were up 35 percent quarter-over-quarter.

All regions experienced at least double-digit growth, with the strongest quarterly growth in EMEA at 150 percent and Latin America (LATAM) at 75 percent.

During Q1, 15 of the top 25 global destinations saw double-digit growth in hotel demand quarter-over-quarter.

In addition, vacation rental night counts globally grew substantially quarter-over-quarter.

Domestic travel continued to dominate the vacation rental space, with Australia, France, Brazil, and the US being the top- booked countries for their respective regions.

Demand for sustainable tourism 

Consumers around the world are already making more mindful decisions when traveling, such as opting for more eco-conscious and sustainable offerings. Expedia Group’s new Sustainable Travel study found that two-thirds of consumers want to see more information on sustainability from lodging and transportation providers, and half of consumers want to see this information from destination organizations.

The study also found that half of consumers would be willing to pay more for transportation, activities,​ and lodging if the option​ was more sustainable.

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