THE third quarter of 2021 saw sustained
momentum for the travel industry, even if the Covid-19 Delta variant and other
global factors impacted performance slightly.
For instance, in Asia Pacific (APAC) the reopening of Singapore – and Australia’s trial vaccine passport programme with select countries – resulted in a 10% increase in searches during the week of September 13. This contributed to week-over-week positive search performance for the region during the month of September. This and other insights are highlighted in the Q3 Travel Recovery Trend Report released by Expedia Group Media Solutions.
“…the industry maintained its momentum
during Q3 and we saw more positive progress at a regional level – including new
vaccination corridors, travel green lanes, and the return of business travel,”
says Jennifer Andre, vice president, business development, Expedia Group Media
More positive news for APAC is that week-over-week searches from Australia to Fiji increased by triple digits during the weeks of August 23 and September 13. This was following the announcement that Qantas plans to resume international flights and Fiji plans to open to tourists by the end of the year. In addition, while most of the top 10 booked destinations were for locales within the same region, APAC had top destinations spanning three different regions.
Other highlights of the
latest report are as follows:
Search Volumes Are Holding Steady
In Q3 search volumes from travellers across the globe held steady, with little change quarter over quarter. However, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and Latin America (LATAM) saw increases of 50% and 10%, respectively, compared to Q2. Asia Pacific (APAC) and North America (NORAM), on the other hand, saw modest decreases – which could be attributed to the emergence of the Covid-19 Delta variant in late summer. However, as border restrictions started to lift in many places in September, so too did global travel searches.
Looking at year-over-year numbers, the third quarter of 2021 delivered triple-digit growth compared to 2020. This appears to signal that, despite these still-uncertain times, people are eager to see the world once again.
Search Windows Shortened in Most Regions
was a shift in the kinds of searches travellers were making compared to Q2. In
the third quarter, nearly 70% of global searches were made 0 to 30 days out,
which was a 15% increase compared to the previous quarter. Compare this to the
longer 31- to 90–day window, which dropped slightly from 25% to 20%.
Bookings for Several Cities Surged
At the global level, several cities spiked in popularity, entering the top 10 for September bookings when previously not on the list. These include Dubai, Paris, London and Istanbul – with Dubai having an especially strong showing. It ranked at number 33 in July but moved all the way to the 10th position a couple months later.
At the regional level, travellers were more interested in international destinations compared to the previous quarter. New York City topped the list for both global bookings and those from NORAM-based travellers, and it was also a top destination for travellers from APAC, EMEA and LATAM.
Demand for Holiday Season Travel is Up
to 2020, Q3 searches for November and December travel dates in NORAM and EMEA
saw triple-digit growth, while LATAM saw double-digit growth. When it comes to
actual bookings, for stays in November and December there was triple-digit
growth in most regions compared to the previous year.
Business Travel is on the Rise
data shows that business travel demand was up over 40% globally in Q3 compared
to Q2, and more than 110% compared to the same period last year.
APAC, business travel demand was up nearly 50% year-over-year, with
destinations throughout China and India making the top 10 list, including
Shanghai, Shenzhen, Mumbai and Chennai.
“We remain focused on sharing data and insights on shifting traveller behaviours and attitudes around the world to help travel marketers on their continued road to recovery and rebuilding,” says Andre.
Download the full Q3 2021 Travel Recovery Trend Report here.