Sharp rise in online travel searches

15th Jul 2011

Results from the latest Greenlight search pattern research suggest tour operators in the UK could be in for a bumper summer, with 3.1 million holiday-related searches conducted on Google in February.

This compares to just 1.2 million in November.

According to the research – entitled Holidays February 2011 - ‘cheap holidays’ and ‘holidays’ most popular search terms.

Consumers also appeared unperturbed by where they were headed.

If the price was right, so too it seemed was the destination. This is borne out in Greenlight’s data which shows the majority of holiday-related searches (61 per cent) were non-destination specific.

In fact, these generic holiday searches totalled 1.9 million in February, increasing a whopping 192 per cent on November 2010 levels when 667,000 were performed.

What’s more, the terms ‘cheap holidays’ and ‘holidays’ were the most popular search terms used by consumers looking to find getaways online.

Search volumes for both terms increased a massive 233 per cent on the previous quarter, when each keyword was searched for 135,000 times.

Other popular terms used to conduct holiday searches online included ‘direct holidays’, ‘last minute holidays’ and ‘package holidays’.

Brands Apart

Greenlight determined the 60 best positioned and hence most visible websites to consumers searching for holidays, based on the search volumes for each keyword and the site’s respective ranking for those terms on page one of Google, representing visibility to a total of 3.1 million searches in February.

Thomson was the most visible website in natural search.

It achieved a 64 per cent share of voice, increased its visibility by nine per cent on November levels and the site was visible to over two million searches.

TravelSupermarket and ThomasCook followed with 57 per cent and 43 per cent share of visibility, respectively.

IceLolly was the most visible advertiser in paid search, achieving a 51 per cent share of voice.

Thomson followed with 39 per cent and yet again increased its visibility by 21 per cent on the previous quarter, ascending Greenlight’s paid search league table from position 12 to two.

TravelRepublic remained the most popular brand in Greenlight’s social media league table, attracting a combined following of over 51,000 Facebook fans and Twitter followers.

It continued to encourage people to join its Facebook group by advertising that people who pressed the ‘like’ button could win ‘free flights and hotel stays’.


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