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Expedia Group’s Q1 Traveler Insights Report shows reassuring signs of ongoing enthusiasm for travel

Traveler confidence in general is also increasing, as people began planning earlier for 2023. During the last quarter of 2022, 35% of overall searches were for travel in 2023 — a 55% increase YoY.

Ιn Expedia Group‘s last quarterly Traveler Insights Report, company saw reassuring signs of enduring enthusiasm for travel amidst growing economic headwinds. Research and data continue to point to traveler resilience as we venture through the first quarter of 2023. Expedia look back to look ahead — and based on Expedia Group first-party data from Q4 2022, we saw search volume globally increase by 10% year-over-year (YoY), driven by strong performance in Asia Pacific (APAC). “APAC is an area we will be watching, as the long-awaited easing of travel restrictions — especially in China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan — resulted in early search volumes increases in Q4.”

Traveler confidence in general is also increasing, as people began planning earlier for 2023. During the last quarter of 2022, 35% of overall searches were for travel in 2023 — a 55% increase YoY.

Travel search volume increased 10% YoY on Expedia’s websites in Q4 2022, with APAC search volumes up more than 50% YoY, signaling positive responses to travel restrictions easing in various countries, including China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Globally, the week of October 3 saw strong week-over-week (WoW) search volume increases across both domestic and international searches, corresponding with easing travel restrictions in Canada, South Korea, and Thailand, among other destinations. As is often seen at the end of the year, during the week of December 26, WoW search volume globally was up by 30%, led by Latin America (LATAM) and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), signaling a return to seasonality.

Domestic search volume

Domestic search performance fluctuated throughout Q4, with the strongest WoW growth during the weeks of October 3 and December 26, when domestic search volumes globally were up by nearly 35%.

International search volume

During the week of October 17, international searches from travelers in LATAM were up 10% WoW. Among North America (NORAM)travelers, international search volumes were up during the weeks of November 28 and December 26, perhaps bolstered by popular holiday sales and promotions.

Beach & city destinations continue to shine

Easing travel restrictions in APAC, holiday travel, and the appeal of warm weather destinations all influenced the global top 10 list of booked destinations during Q4. Across the super regions, New York, Las Vegas, and London held on to the top spots, Orlando and Cancun moved up in the rankings, and Miami overtook Boston for the No. 10 position. Tokyo was a newcomer to the list at No. 7. The shift to warm weather destinations was also a trend in the previous year – Q4 2021 – as travelers likely started planning their warm weather escapes during peak winter months in the Northern Hemisphere. Destinations like Boston and Denver dropped from the global top 10 list and were replaced by Miami and Dubai; similarly, Cancun and Honolulu moved up the rankings.

The rise of the flexcation

As flexible work options remain for many companies around the world, “blended” or “flexcation” travel – a longer stay that mixes remote work and play – is on the rise, and the opportunity for those in the travel industry is huge. Insights from the Traveler Value Index 2023 study back up this theme, showing that 28% of consumers are looking to take a flexcation trip in the next 12 months.

Price and value rising in importance

Demand for travel is expected to remain strong due to increasing plans for flexcations and the return of business travel, consumer savings, and the ongoing prioritization of travel. That said, while overall intentions to travel are high, traveler spending behaviors are expected to evolve, pointing to the growing importance of price and value.

Experiences are (still) everything

Activities and experiences were some of the top priorities and decision drivers for travelers pre-pandemic, and their importance is on the rise again. This year, people are branching out to unexpected trends in what can be considered the “no normal.” From culinaryfirst travel to wellness retreats and off-thebeaten-path adventures, experiences are influencing trip decisions. But for many travelers, especially those experiencing post-holiday burnout, this can also mean experiencing nothing, or a “nothing-cation,” where warm weather, relaxing, and recharging are the main attractions. A recent survey found that 96% of US travelers want to spend part of their next vacation doing nothing, and 54% of UK travelers connect doing nothing on a holiday with relaxation.

Mobile & app growth

Although global smartphone penetration rates have been steady over the past few years, mobile searches and bookings are on the rise. Comparing 2022 to 2019 data from our websites, traveler booking share on mobile devices – phone and tablet – was up 15%, led by strong growth in mobile phone booking share. Mobile app search share in 2022 increased 30% compared to 2019, illustrating the importance of reaching potential travelers across devices, channels, and platforms.

Q1-2023-Traveler-Insights-Report
News Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | + Posts

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.

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