Holiday search volumes drop 31% on previous quarter

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Greenlight report shows a drop in holiday web search volumes with short-haul destinations taking the biggest hit

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Quarter-on-quarter search demand for holidays to short-haul destinations dropped 34%

UK airports are braced for an estimated surge of four million people who will be heading abroad for the festive season. However, analysis of the latest holiday-related search data from leading independent digital marketing agency, Greenlight, shows quarter-on-quarter web searches for vacations dropped 31%, with short-haul destinations taking the biggest hit.

Greenlight’s ‘Holiday Sector Report – Issue 19’ profiled consumer online search behaviour, identifying the most popular search terms used in November to find holidays to domestic, short-haul and long-haul destinations.

The research found over 4.4 million holiday-related searches were made on Google UK in November compared to 6.4 million in August.

Quarter-on-quarter search demand for holidays to short-haul destinations dropped 34% from over 1.3 million queries in August to 885,000 in November.

Search volumes for holidays domestically likewise contracted 23% on the previous quarter.

However, totalling close to 983,000, those for long-haul holidays rose 2% on the previous quarter.

The U.S proved a popular draw.

Search-wise, New York topped the top ten long-haul holiday destination board, the term ‘New York Holidays’ accounting for 5% of queries. ‘Florida holidays’ followed (4%), then ‘Las Vegas holidays’ (3%).

Alongside the U.S, Dubai, The Maldives, Mexico, The Caribbean, Thailand, Cuba and Egypt also featured in the long-haul holiday top ten.

Greenlight determined which holiday-related websites were most visible to consumer searches both in Natural Search and Paid Media.

Overall, was the most prominent site to holiday-related queries in the organic listings. It was visible to over 2.8 million searches which saw it garner a 65% share of visibility. was the most visible advertiser in the paid listings, attaining a 68% share of voice.

Greenlight’s twelve month retrospective charting overall holiday search volumes in 2013 shows they were at their lowest in January, when they stood at a little over 2.5 million and peaked at 7.2 million in September.


Notes to Editors:

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

**Paid Search – 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 report, ‘Holiday Sector Report – Issue 19’, profiled search behaviour in this sector. It assessed which brands, websites and review sites were the most visible in Natural Search, Paid Media and Social Media and hence had the greatest share of consideration when UK-based searchers went to Google UK in November to look for holidays.

To arrange an interview or for further information about the report, please contact:

Krishna Rao
T: +44 (20) 7253 7000 / +44 (0)7840 416 368
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)

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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Krishna Rao
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