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Travel searches up 70%, cities bouncing back in 2Q2021

28 September 2021

Expedia projects that in the next 12 months 60% of consumers will travel within their home country and 27% will travel internationally

Expedia Media Solutions Travel Recovery Trend Report 2021 | Q2 - based on more than 300 petabytes of Expedia Group first-party data and custom research - shows strong global growth in travel searches: more searches for major cities and international trips, along with longer booking horizons and renewed interest in sustainable travel.

Significant trends:

  • Global travel search volumes increased by more than 70% vs. 1Q2021.
  • Unlike in all of 2020 and 1Q2021, instead of constantly fluctuating, travel searches grew in 11 of the 13 weeks in 2Q2021,
  • The largest week-on-week increase in searches occurred the week of 10 May, when the Pfizer COVID-1 vaccine gained approval for adolescents and Pfizer's EU contract was extended.
  • In parallel Traveler Value Index Research, Expedia found that 72% of consumers in 8 countries plan on traveling in the next 12 months.
  • Although 55% of global searches fell within 0 to 21 days of planned departure as domestic travel continued to predominate, searches made 22 to 90 days in advance accounted for 35% of total searches in Q2, and were up nearly 25% in number from Q1.

Based on these findings, Expedia projects that in the next 12 months 60% of consumers will travel within their home country and 27% will travel internationally.

Trip preferences in the next 12 months that were expressed by survey respondents:

  1. More frequent, shorter trips (40%)
  2. Fewer, longer trips (28%)
  3. Combination of shorter and longer trips (30%)

Attitudes of Americans re travel:

  • 58% said they would feel comfortable flying in 3Q2021, including 39% who haven't been in an airport since March 2020.
  • 70% of Millennials and 63% of Gen Z are ready to fly.
  • 60% of vaccinated persons and 54% of unvaccinated persons said they would be comfortable with flying.

Destinations most searched globally in Q2 (top 10):

  1. Florida
  2. USA
  3. California
  4. Hawaii
  5. Mexico
  6. Italy
  7. Texas
  8. Canada
  9. South Carolina
  10. Colorado

Destinations most booked, by region (top 3)


  1. Seogwipo, South Korea
  2. Seoul
  3. Tokyo

Europe, Middle East and Africa

  1. London
  2. Dubai
  3. Paris

Latin America

  1. Cancun
  2. New York
  3. Houston

North America

  1. Las Vegas
  2. New York
  3. Orlando

Hotel demand increased more than 10% vs. 1Q2021.

Interest grew in sustainable travel. Some of the most common themes mentioned in Q2 guest reviews included:

  • Single-use plastics
  • Recycling facilities
  • Availability of electric car charging points
  • LED lamps
  • Renewable energy

Interest in sustainability was driven primarily by younger consumers. Likeliness to consider eco-friendly travel options:

  • 2 out of 3 Millennials and Gen Z
  • 40% of Gen X
  • 30% of Boomers

Re diversity and inclusion, nearly two-thirds of respondents said they are likely to book a trip to a place that's:

  • Owned by a woman or person of color
  • Inclusive of specific groups like LGBTQ+
  • Supportive of persons with disabilities

Comment: Even if you're not located at one of th most-coveted destinations, you should still be able to benefit from shifting the focus of your marketing toward themes related to:

  • Air access
  • Sustainability
  • Younger consumers
  • Diversity and inclusion

Remember: serious shopping for 2022 summer holidays is going to start at the time of Christmas school vacation, which is now less than 3 months away.

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David Boggs    - David
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