Travel Category Growth: Global Trends and Predictions

Over the last year, the travel industry has seen the lowest of lows while the world has stayed home during the COVID-19 pandemic. But now, ShareThis has seen the world preparing for a major return to travel. 

The fastest growing travel categories globally in 2021 reflect local travel (like parks), followed by future travel planning (like travel guides): 

Average Week-Over-Week Growth of
Current and Future Travel Categories (%):

This indicates that people are currently planning for travel in later months more often than they are traveling now, and their current travel behaviors are close to home. The prevalence of interest in travel agencies might suggest older and likely vaccinated travelers. 

Regionally, European and Asian travelers are seeing the highest growth in local economy boosting travel, theme parks, and future travel planning while Americans are driving air travel growth: 

Fastest Growing Travel Categories by
Average Week-Over-Week Growth (%):

So, what’s motivating upcoming travel bookings at the moment? By examining the keywords used by current travel planners, we found that family was the largest motivator over business and pleasure, whether finally reuniting with family around the world or taking the family bubble on a getaway together.

Travel Purpose Shares of Engagement (%):

When looking at types of travel amenities booked, we came to the conclusion that the gap between air travel and lodgings in booking engagement also alludes to trips to visit family, where someone might stay in a family home rather than a hotel or vacation rental. On the other hand, it could be another signifier that people are early in the travel process, booking flights to hold the dates of travel without booking their stay and activities just yet.

Travel Booking Shares of Engagement (%):

Online traffic with each of the top global airlines shows United Airlines in the lead both in the U.S. and globally. It’s possible that Americans, more likely to be vaccinated than other countries at this time, are booking a higher percentage of flights: 

Share of Online Searches (%):

The most searched keywords by our global travel audience reflect both the hesitancy of travel while the pandemic continues and the desire for a long-awaited warm weather vacation. Resorts seem to be especially popular searches, perhaps because of their increased safety: resort staff can ensure that those around you are wearing masks and social distancing, but the vacation vibe is still there. 

Most Searched Keywords by an Audience Engaging With Travel:

Adding up all of these insights from our data, here are our key takeaways for the travel category as we head into spring and summer: 

Contact us if you’d like to use our data to follow along with the travel category as it continues to evolve. 

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As a pioneer in the industry, ShareThis has powered human connections through free engagement and growth tools since 2007. Over 3 million publishers leverage ShareThis’ website tools to reach their marketing goals whether they want to amplify their website traffic or social following.