Travel searches grew strongly in 1Q2021
Newly released Travel Recovery Trend Report 2021 |Q1 from Expedia shows:
- Global rollout of vaccines has increased demand for travel.
- Most travel searches occurred between 0 and 21 days of trip departure.
- Travelers are booking more trips of a week or more.
- Domestic road trips by car to both beach and city destinations far outnumbered trips by air or other means of transportation.
- Cost and convenience began to edge out health and hygiene expectations as drivers of travel choices.
By the numbers:
- Week of 15 March - following release of new CDC guidelines for vaccinated individuals - saw the greatest weekly growth in travel searches: +30%.
- 43% of Americans felt more comfortable about traveling in 1Q2021.
- 55% of married couples and 55% of city dwellers say they will be more willing to travel as soon as vaccines are widely available.
- 1 in 3 Americans have taken or will take a trip to celebrate being vaccinated.
- 60% of searches for domestic travel occurred within 21 days of departure, vs. 40% of searches for international travel.
- Around 60% of travelers had to cancel a planned trip in 2020 because of COVID-19.
- Vacation rental demand and average length of stay both increased by 30% in 1Q2021.
- Top 10 destinations booked by North American travelers for 1Q2021 were:
- Las Vegas
- New York City
- Miami Beach
- Los Angeles
- Ft. Lauderdale
- 62% of those surveyed said they took or would be willing to take a road trip during the pandemic.
- 4 out of 5 travelers still expect to make accommodation decisions based on COVID-19 health/safety protocols implemented.
Expedia's projections for 2Q2021:
- Increase in searches for international travel as vaccine distribution broadens
- Travelers say they will choose eco-friendly options at least part of the time.
Comment: Notice that although traditional drivers like cost and convenience are regaining importance in travel decisionmaking, 80% of those surveyed said that they will choose accommodations on the basis of health/safety protocols in place. If you're a hotelier, make sure you've explained yours convincingly.