Expedia Group Media has released a new quarterly trend report, which found that searches for travel in Q1 2021 showed strong growth, indicating a return to live events in many parts of the world.
Demand continues to be tied to global vaccine rollouts and regional restrictions, however. In the United States, the week of 15 March saw the largest spike in searches – an increase of 30% – following the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) release of guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals.
The CDC news made 43% of Americans feel more comfortable traveling — or drove them to book an upcoming trip.
The majority of global Q1 2021 searches fell within the 0 to 21 days search window, as uncertainty around global travel saw travellers opt for more opportunistic, short-term trips, often close to home.
Many travellers continue to prioritise domestic over international travel, and are taking trips closer to home. In Q1 2021, beach and city destinations made up the top 10 booked destinations around the world. At a regional level, the top 10 booked destinations also reflect beach and city destinations, though within the same region.
Since the start of the pandemic, health- and hygiene-related factors have grown in importance for travellers, however, when comparing the top five topics searched for when booking flights from the last 12 months against the top 5 from Q1 2021, health- and hygiene-focused considerations dropped from the list.
The full report can be viewed here.