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4 Google Insights to Leverage in Your 2021 Travel Marketing Strategy

By Gabbi Hall

March 15, 2021

2021 travel insights

At Noble Studios, we’re always looking ahead in the ever-evolving travel marketing industry. So when Global Insights released their analysis of Google Ads Research this month, we got pretty excited. There were some key findings in the report that showed promising signs of travel interest picking up. As a Premier Google Partner, we wanted to share them, along with our better practices for developing a robust marketing strategy.

1. Consumers Are in the Dreaming Phase

As consumers look ahead, they are already dreaming and planning their next big trip. When the pandemic swept the globe, travel plans were shelved and many people missed holidays, vacations and family trips. But people are ready to get back out there again. Google has reported that “travel to” searches are on the rise. By a lot. In fact, “travel to” queries have grown 100% YoY and top searches include “travel to Mexico,” “travel to Dubai,” “travel to Canada” and “travel to Hawaii,” among others.

What does this mean for marketers? Be ready to inspire your audiences with travel-related advertisements. Consumers are already dreaming about their next adventure, so inspire them with a marketing strategy that blasts dreamy destination images, special offers and easy access to bookings across channels.

2. Nearby Destinations Are the New Normal

2021 travel california

While consumers yearn to travel, many are hesitant to buy a plane ticket and jet to a far-flung locale. Google found that searches for “resorts near me,” have grown by 80% globally YoY. Some of the top-ranking key terms were “best resorts near me,” “family resorts near me” and “spa resorts near me.” Additionally, searches for “hotel booking app” have risen by 100% YoY.

This information points to a key insight: consumers are planning to travel close and are looking for relaxing experiences and places to stay nearby. Adjusting your marketing strategy to target nearby demographics could have a positive impact on visitation and revenue.

3. Outdoor Activities Continue to Reign

hiking travel trend

It may come as no surprise, but it looks as if outdoor activities will continue to dominate the “top things to do” category. Last year, outdoor activities and destinations exploded in popularity as consumers searched for creative ways to be active and socially distant. Sports gear such as snowmobiles and RVs sold out and outdoor destinations were crushed by an influx of tourists searching for nature-therapy in an otherwise bleak world.

That’s not going to change anytime soon.

Google has reported that searches such as “walking trails near” have grown by over 100% YoY, and “things to do during” queries have grown by a whopping 300% YoY. This includes top searches such as “best walking trails near me” and “dog-friendly walking trails near me,” as well as “safe things to do during covid” and “things to do during quarantine.”

This poses an excellent opportunity for marketers to highlight their destination’s outdoor activities and/or create awareness about outdoor products. When planning your next campaign, hone in on things to do because consumers are definitely searching for inspiration!

4. People Are Ready to Get Back Out in Public

travel trends

It’s been a while since most of us have worn jeans, high heels or suits. A whole year working from home in sweat pants! But it looks as if loungewear is on the way out. People are ready to get back out in public and look good for it too. Google found that searches such as “makeup app,” “long tops for girls” and “blow dryer brush,” have skyrocketed in popularity. Additionally, many consumers are preparing for a big date. Searches for “wedding suit for” have grown by 200% globally YoY with top searches including “wedding suit for groom,” “wedding suit for men,” etc.

For travel and tourism marketers, now is the time to highlight wedding and event venues, and showcase the public and indoor attractions that are currently available. Moreover, COVID-19 safety continues to be a concern for consumers, so ensuring they know that your destination is adhering to safety guidelines is of utmost importance.

Regardless of your industry, it’s good to know the economic recovery is picking up and people are optimistic as they plan their next getaway. The best tool to have in your marketing belt is to be informed and prepared.

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