Sojern, a performance marketing platform for travel brands, has released its Q4 2016 Global Travel Insights Report as well as its 2017 Travel Forecast for Q1.
Sojern’s quarterly reports are based on travel intent data from 350 million traveler profiles across 100,000 unique audience segments and billions of travel intent signals.
Looking back at the last quarter of 2016, with the exception of Middle East and Africa, Sojern noted an increase in the share of family travel ( three-plus travelers), not surprising given the winter holidays.
Globally, the top eight countries that attracted the most interest during the fourth quarter overlapped with the top eight of the most booked: United States, Spain, United Kingdom, Mexico, Italy, Germany, France, and Portugal. Thailand and Russia grabbed the last two spots in the top 10 countries searched, while Switzerland and Singapore gained the last two spots in the top 10 countries most booked.
The report also shows a number of shifts in the top outbound destinations: Palma De Mallorca fell out of the top five destinations for Europeans, replaced by Amsterdam. For Asian travelers, London, which was in the top five destinations searched last quarter, was replaced by Taipei in Q4.
Another shift in Q4 took place in the share of search and bookings: Generally, the share of booking and searching is spread evenly across each month, with only a percentage difference. This was not the case for Q4. Instead, the report showed that October dominated in bookings, November saw the most searches, and both search and bookings leveled out in December.
For the upcoming spring travel season, beach destinations dominate for North Americans, according to Sojern’s report. The top searched beach destinations include Miami, Cancun, Honolulu, Fort Myers, and San Juan.
Latin American travelers are also interested in the beaches of Miami and Cancun, but given their easier access to other destinations, they’re also looking for different beach getaways: Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro, and Havana rounded up the top five.
For Europe, Spain dominates beach searches: Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga, and Alicante all make the top five searched beach destinations. The only non-Spanish beach destination on the list is Miami, says Sojern.
By looking at early searches for spring travel, Sojern was able to see the decision-making process for many travelers in countries with public holidays around Good Friday.
Latin American travelers are looking at extended Easter celebrations: Semana Santa — or Holy Week — is a big travel time for many on the continent. The top departure dates searched are in the week before Easter and the week of Easter, with April 1 as the top searched departure day, according to Sojern.
In Europe, the top searched departure dates for April are the 1st, 8th, and 14th. Travelers in countries like Spain, Germany, and the United Kingdom have Good Friday off and are looking to take advantage of the three- or even four-day weekend, says Sojern.
Sojern has seen similar travel planning occur on the other side of the globe in Asia-Pacific. Countries like Singapore, the Philippines, and Hong Kong also observe Good Friday as a public holiday. With the Friday off, Sojern sees the 13th, the Thursday before Easter, as one of the most popular dates searched for departures in the region, along with April 1st and 29th, according to the report. Overall, Asia-Pacific travelers are looking to leave earlier than their European counterparts.
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