Get your summer break on: travel brands see 155% rise in demand

Travel is firmly on the cards, with search demand on the up and other sectors seeing a surge in holiday-related browsing.

It may seem like we’ve been here before with the optimism that travelling further afield is becoming a reality, but if search demand is anything to go by, people are betting their hands firmly on the possibility of a summer holiday

Searches relating to the travel sector are now 6% up year-on-year, while travel brands are enjoying a rise in demand of more than 155%. Meanwhile, in other sectors, the buzz for travel is evident, with rises in searches for suitcases and holiday clothes, whereas the property ladder is on the minds of some searchers. 

Your regular digital demand update from Performance Marketing World - powered by MediaVision’s Digital Demand Tracker - tracks online search trends to determine what’s in demand. 

Here’s what the market demand data for various sectors shows for 20 March to 2 April 2022, compared to the same time in 2021.

Brand demand within sectors

Flights, accommodation and package holiday deals saw the biggest rises compared to March 2021, with searches for Skyscanner increasing by 299% and LoveHolidays growing by 318%. 

Looking at flights, many of the major airlines saw a growth in demand including British Airways (179%), Emirates (188%), Etihad (204%) and a surge for Austrian Airlines (305%), however the budget airline race was won in growth terms by Ryanair, which at a growth of 560% was above the 244% for Easyjet. Holiday lets saw growth in demand, with Vrbo searches rising by 102%, compared to 56% for Airbnb.

Within beauty, more ‘luxury’ stockists saw a rise in growth, with Space NK searches up 98% year-on-year, compared to Feel Unique and Look Fantastic, which saw drops of 55% and 14% respectively in demand. 

In the fashion sector, Anya Hindmarch saw search demand grow by 374%, with the designer launching a universal bag with supermarket chain Waitrose last month, while footwear retailer Dune grew in search by 191% (though MediaVision highlights this could be due to the film of the same name) and Lavish Alice by 218%. Despite a growth of 55% for sports footwear brand New Balance, other sports and activewear retailers saw their search volumes fall in the period, with declines for Footlocker (24%), Sports Direct (24%) and JD Sports (27%).

Is confidence in travel firmly back?

Evidence that travel is firmly back on the cards can be seen in the uptick in overall search demand in the sector year-on-year. The sector saw a rise of 6% in search demand between 20 March and 2 April 2022. 

Destination-led searches were once again among the biggest risers, with little sight of ‘staycation’ style searches by destination in the top growers. ‘Belize holidays’ and ‘Ecuador holidays’ searches grew by 5,733% and 4,158% respectively, with popular European city breaks, including Budapest, Seville, Edinburgh and Amsterdam also showing strong growth. Demand was also there for ‘last minute holidays’ which was up 925% year-on-year as perhaps people searched for Easter breaks this year.

However, this is still a small rise compared to the 39% growth in demand between the same period in 2021 compared to 2020. Some of this may have been garnered by some hope of a return to travel last year, given the demand for ‘summer holidays 2021’ searches at the time. Going back a year further, at that point the pandemic really took hold across most of Europe, and travel searches plummeted by more than 70% between 2019 and 2020.

Among tech and goods, ‘suitcases’ searches were 292% up on 2021, while ‘travel essentials’ searches grew by 225%. Within homewares, searches for flowers, coinciding with Mothers’ Day in the UK dominated the top growing areas of demand. 

Fashion focuses on the formal

Demand in search for fashion remains high, with travel clothing searches contributing to the growth. Searches for ‘holiday clothes’ were up 363%, with ‘mens swim shorts’ seeing a 397% increase year-on-year, ‘designer prescription sunglasses’ searches up 194% and a surge of more than 1,025% on ‘hand luggage’. 

However, formal outings appear to be high on peoples’ minds, perhaps as people return more to business or black tie events. Searches for ‘race day dresses’ were 754% up between 20 March and 2 April 2022 compared to the same period in 2021 and ‘black tie dresses’ searches hiked by 302%. Hot pink seems to be among the colours of choice with searches for ‘hot pink dresses’ and ‘hot pink heels’ up 241% and 148% respectively.

Meanwhile, the property ladder is on the minds of consumers, it would seem. Searches for ‘shared ownership Brighton’ were up 396% in the period, but the popular Southern England seaside city was not the only location in demand, with ‘help to buy Surrey’ searches up 142% and ‘shared ownership’ searches for Plymouth, Surrey and Maidstone all seeing at least double digit growth.

Evidence of the tightening of belts in the UK was also clear, with rises in searches for how to ‘save money’ (87%)  ‘stop spending money’ (101%) and ‘money saving tips’ (98%).

All data is sourced by MediaVision’s Digital Demand Tracker