December Shows High Travel for the Holidays

Logo courtesy of Sojern website
Logo courtesy of Sojern website

Sojern, a performance marketing platform for travel brands, has released its Q3 Global Travel Insights Report based on the analysis of over 1 billion travel intent data points across the globe.

Globally, the top 10 booked destinations during the third quarter were: Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, United States, Mexico, Germany, France, Portugal, Switzerland, and Netherlands.

For North America, the top five searched destinations included Las Vegas, Miami, New York City, Orlando, and Los Angeles.

December travel peaks around the world primarily due to holidays celebrated within the month, including Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s, and so forth. Globally, the most popular days that travelers have searched to fly, so far, are December 22 and 23 — both days appear on the top departure dates for nearly every region, according to the study.

While, globally, the biggest departure dates are later in the month, every region shows preference for departures, including:

• The busiest days for departures in the U.S. are December 23, 22, and 26.
• The Middle East and Africa also have earlier departure dates: December 15, 16, and 22.
• Singapore has one of the earliest departure dates: December 1, 16, and 23. This differs from Japanese travelers looking to travel on December 28, 29, and 30.
• European travelers are looking to depart close to Christmas: December 22, 23, and 26.

For much of the world, December brings low temperatures and little sunlight. For that reason, many around the globe look for beach getaways, including:

• In both 2015 and 2016, the top December destination for North Americans is Miami.
• European families are looking for warm weather in Bangkok — it’s a top destination for families in France, Germany, U.K., and Netherlands.
• Travelers from Mexico City and Tijuana are searching for domestic beach destinations in December.

In Q3, the most popular day searched for short-haul departures by European travelers was Friday, with 25% of traveler interest. In Q4, we’re seeing a sizable shift: 25% of short-haul travelers are looking to leave on Saturday, compared with only 9% last quarter. In fact, weekend departures account for nearly 60% of all searched departures in Q4.

North American travelers also show a shift in departure dates from Q3 to Q4: Wednesday departures for Q4 are at 14% but were only at 12% in Q3, a bump that we could attribute to travelers looking to fly out for Thanksgiving in November.

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