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Margarita Halatjan

Study: Search trends in the travel and tourism industry

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about travelling? Carefree package holidays? Adventurous outdoor activities? A short city break in Europe? Your answer might differ depending on where you’re from, as different types of holiday are more popular in different countries.

As a marketer in the travel industry, you need to keep your finger on the pulse of these differences, as not only do popular destinations and holiday types vary between countries, they also vary over time. In order to be successful and market your travel brand appropriately, you therefore need to understand the behaviours and preferences of your target audience.

Having this in mind, we decided to conduct a study examining the online search habits of travellers from five countries: the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. We looked at the following search terms: “package holidays”, “luxury holidays”, “cruise holidays”, “adventure holidays” and “city break” in the five target languages.

This blog post will look at just one of those keywords: “package holidays”. If you want to read the whole study – which looks at all five keywords and has key takeaways sections for each country – you can find it here.

United Kingdom

The results of the keyword research for “package holidays” in the UK can be found here.

Search volume trends for “package holidays” in the UK

For the keyword research based on the keyword “package holidays”, the majority of the search terms mention “cheap” or “last minute”. British holidaymakers are mostly looking for package holiday deals and appear very price-sensitive. Most of the searches do not specify any locations. In fact, in the top 200 searches, these are the only locations specified: “UK” (x2), “Europe” (x2), “India” (x2), “Crete” and “Portland”. Search volume trends reveal that the popularity of package holidays has stayed steady over several years. There is a seasonal peak in searches every January.

United States

The results of the keyword research for “all-inclusive vacations” in the US can be found here.

Search volume trends for “all-inclusive vacations” in the US

For the keyword research based on “all-inclusive vacations”, the majority of the search terms mention “cheap” and “affordable”. We can also see quite a lot of queries that focus on “airfare” being included in the price. Most Americans prefer international holidays rather than domestic ones, with the following locations being specified in the top 200 queries: “Caribbean” (x16), “Mexico” (x4) and “USA” (x3). The popularity of all-inclusive vacations has been steady over the years. There is a peak in searches in January.

China

When doing search marketing in China, you must focus your efforts on Baidu, the country’s number one search engine with 80% of the market share. For this reason, we have conducted the Chinese keyword research on Baidu. Unlike Google Keyword Planner, unfortunately Baidu does not provide data about search volume trends or seasonality graphs.

The results of the keyword research for the Chinese equivalent of “package holidays” in China can be found here.

For the Baidu keyword research based on the Chinese equivalent of “package holidays”, we can see that the majority of the search terms are for specific attractions, combined with queries related to “tickets” for places to see in China or general tourist tickets for sale. Local agency tours are very popular with Chinese travellers, which is shown in our research with the biggest number of queries being for “tours” rather than keywords around “package”.

Russia

According to the Webcertain Search And Social Report, Yandex is the dominant search engine in Russia, with a 57% share of the search engine market, followed by Google at 39%. In our study, we decided to do keyword research on both Google and Yandex to identify key trends and differences in users’ searches.

The results of the Google keyword research for the Russian equivalent of “package holidays” in Russia can be found here.

Google’s search volume trends for the Russian equivalent of “package holidays” in Russia

The results of the Yandex keyword research for the Russian equivalent of “package holidays” in Russia can be found here.

Yandex’s search volume trends for the Russian equivalent of “package holidays” in Russia

For the keyword research based on the Russian equivalent of “package holidays” (x9,900) in Google Keyword Planner, “tour” and “holidays” come up as very popular searches. People seem to search for locations, like “Turkey” (x74,000) or “Thailand” (x40,500). The top locations are mostly based around deals that Russian tour operators have and visa-free countries. Hence, the list includes countries like Turkey, Egypt, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates as top destinations. There are also quite a few searches for domestic locations in Russia, as many people prefer to stay within their own country for ease of travel, language and costs. The popularity of package holidays has remained steady over time. A peak in searches occurs in July.

Looking at the results in Yandex, we can see many searches for “package holidays” (x1,296,484 searches per month!) and “last minute package holidays” (x164,735). It is probably so popular because it is usually the cheapest travel option, depending on the season and location. We also see a lot of queries for “package holidays all inclusive” (x96,809) and a lot of “cheap” and “how much would it cost” search terms, which suggests that Russian package holidaymakers are very price sensitive. Turkey and Thailand seem to be the most popular destinations searched on Yandex. We see the same search volume patterns as on Google – with popularity staying steady over time and a peak in searches in July.

United Arab Emirates

The results of the keyword research for the Arabic equivalent of “package holidays” in the UAE can be found here.

Search volume trends for the Arabic equivalent of “package holidays” in the UAE

For the keyword research based on the Arabic keyword for “package holidays”, we can see that the term is not popular. Instead, Emirati holidaymakers search for terms related to flight bookings and specific airlines, looking for “cheapest flight” or “offers” that will show them the cheapest prices, depending on the season and location. When it comes to locations, Dubai, Turkey and the Maldives are the top destinations. There is a slight peak in searches in the summer months.

I hope that this blog post has been interesting and provided valuable insights into the motivations and desires of package holidaymakers around the world and how to approach them.

If you want to read the whole study, which looks at keyword research based on four other holiday types (luxury holidays, cruise holidays, adventure holidays and city breaks), you can read my free, full-length guide here.

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Margarita Halatjan

Margarita Halatjan

Senior SEO Project Coordinator at Webcertain
Margarita is a Senior SEO Project Coordinator at Webcertain, where she coordinates multilingual projects for the Keywords department. She graduated from the University of Warsaw with specialisation in linguistics and translation. She is passionate about international research, content marketing and social media. Margarita has broad professional experience in marketing, tourism and training. She has lived in six countries so far and speaks six languages.
Margarita Halatjan

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