UK: Three times as many online searches for hotels at home than away

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New report from Greenlight reveals most popular hotel-related searches online and most visible sites

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Consumer online searches for hotels and lodgings based domestically outnumbered those located overseas by three to one with London proving to be the biggest draw

Consumer online searches for hotels and lodgings based domestically outnumbered those located overseas by three to one, reveals the latest data from leading independent digital marketing agency, Greenlight.

Greenlight’s ‘Hotels Sector Report – Issue 17’, found that in August, consumers made a total of 3.1 million searches on Google UK for hotels located in domestic, short haul and long haul destinations.

Of that total, 1.8 million (58%) queries pertained to hotels based domestically, compared to 12% (382,610 searches) and just 8% (236,710 searches) for accommodation in short-haul and long-haul destinations, respectively.

Greenlight’s findings follow on from preliminary hotel figures released by business advisory and accountancy firm BDO LLP in July, highlighting the health of the UK hotel sector a year on from the Olympics. They showed a 6.7% year-on-year increase in occupancy from 75.3% to 80.4% in the regions whilst occupancy rates in London increased by 10% from 79.2% to 87.1%, indicative, says the firm, of the UK hotel sector being in good shape to take advantage of the nascent economic recovery.

Most popular domestic hotel-related search terms

Greenlight’s research shows that on the domestic front, London was the biggest draw. Cumulatively, online searches for hotels in the UK capital accounted for 13% of queries. Brighton followed with 4%.

Greenlight’s report reveals the ten most popular domestic hotel-related search terms as being:

‘hotels in london’ (90,500 searches)
‘london hotels’ (74,000 searches)
‘cheap hotels in london (60,500 searches)
‘blackpool hotels’ (33,100 searches)
‘hotels in york’ (33,1000 searches)
‘hotels in edinburgh’ (27,100 searches)
‘hotels in manchester’ (27,100 searches)
‘hotels in brighton’ (27,100 searches)
‘brighton hotels’ (27,100 searches)
‘cheap london hotels’ (22,200 searches)

Most visible websites for domestic hotel-related searches

Greenlight charted the most visible players online for hotels in long-haul, short-haul and domestic destinations.

For domestic hotel-related queries, was the most visible site in the organic* listings, attaining a 22% share of visibility. was the most prominent advertiser in the paid listings**, with 70%.

Interestingly, of the 10 most visible sites in Greenlight’s natural search listings, four were hotel chains, compared to just two in the paid listings.

The report’s 12 month retrospective view of online searches for hotels shows queries peaked in March, the highest thus far for 2013, when they totalled 3.7 million, up 85% on February’s volume of 2 million, the lowest this year.


Notes to Editors:

*Natural /organic Search - Listings in search engine results pages that appear because of their relevance to the search terms

**Paid Media – an Internet advertising model used on websites, in which advertisers pay their host only when their ad is clicked. With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market.

Greenlight’s ‘Hotel Sector Report – Issue 17’ profiles consumer search behaviour in this sector, providing an exclusive snapshot of the online search and social media market, from the size of the potential audience to the top performing companies. The report assesses which brands, websites and advertisers are the most visible in natural, paid media results and social media and hence have the greatest share of consideration when consumers go to Google UK to search for hotels in long-haul, short-haul and domestic destinations.

To arrange an interview or for further information please contact:

Krishna Rao
T: +44 (20) 3326 6232
E: krishna.rao(at)greenlightdigital(dot)com

Greenlight’s research covers the following industries and sectors:

HOME GOODS - Home & Garden
CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES - Fashion Retail / Sports Retail
CONSUMER SERVICES - Online Dating / Entertainment
GAMING & GAMBLING - Online Gambling
FINANCE - Personal General Insurance / Life Insurance / Retail Banking
TRAVEL & HOSPITALITY – Holidays / Hotels / Flights / Car Hire / Cruises
REAL ESTATE – Property (Residential)
TELECOMS – Telecoms

About Greenlight:

Greenlight is a leading independent digital marketing agency. With over 100 blue-chip clients including Santander, Sky and ghd, Greenlight is a leader in the digital marketing space, and is recognized worldwide for its commitment to delivering record ROI for its clients and investing in the future.

Greenlight is considered the premier thought leader in the sector publishing widely read industry reports, original research and speaking at trade events. Founded in 2001, Greenlight is headquartered in London, with offices in New York.


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