New research on travel searches from Microsoft show that although search numbers have been down year-on-year since the week ending 20 March:
- Except for the week of 28 February when numbers were flat with the corresponding week in 2019, searches for destinations and attractions have been up by double-digit percentages throughout 2020 to date.
- Search numbers for air travel may have hit bottom in the week ending 10 April.
- Search numbers for accommodations, cruises and transportation/tours may have hit bottom in the week ending 17 April.
- Travel search ads' average cost-per-click were down approximately 60% yoy across travel categories in the week ending 1 May 2020.
- Clicks on travel ads in the week ending 1 May were down similarly - around 90% yoy - across major country markets: France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and USA.
- Except for an occasional, temporary upturn, numbers of travel search ads per page trended down across travel categories from 1 March through 28 April. But ads per page for air travel and transportation/tours have trended up since 26 April.
Travel categories with largest week-on-week increase in click numbers in the week ending 1 May were (top 3):
- Booking services
Destinations with largest week-on-week increase in click numbers in the week ending 1 May were:
- China +24%
- Italy +21%
- Orlando FL +12%
- Ireland +12%
- Washington DC +12%
- Tampa FL +10%
- Houston TX +4%
- San Diego CA +3%
- Spain +2%
Are those destinations with click increases the ones who are keeping their marketing always-on during COVID-19? I'll bet they are.