Google Sheds Light on Pent-Up Demand for Travel

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If our collective Google searches are any indication, we’re all eager to get back to traveling.

While it’s not exactly a revelation that there’s a pent-up demand for travel, a new crop of data shared by the tech giant reveals just how ravenous our appetite for travel has become.

According to Google, travel-related searches in May, 2021 were up a whopping 270 percent compared to May, 2020, at the height of the pandemic—and as the crisis continues to recede, that figure is expected to climb even higher.

On a more granular level, a number of specific search terms have exploded in popularity.

Searches for “can I travel” have jumped more than 800 percent in the last month, while searches for “travel to” and “hotel booking app” have climbed by more than 100 percent apiece. Rental-related searches have also exploded, with searches for things like kayak, bike and boat rentals ballooning by more than 100 percent over the last year.

According to Google, Millennial and Gen-Z generations have shown the most eagerness to get back to exploring the world. As Travel Pulse points out, those two generations represent more than half the population of the United States and a significant $350 billion in spending power.

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Google elaborated that, within those generations, three keywords are resonating particularly strongly: “escape and relax” (52 percent), “budget-friendly” (38 percent) and “adventurous” (38 percent). Those generations are also hungry for new experiences, with many targeting experiences that are “new to me” (43 percent).

The search terms “relaxing” (51 percent), “new to me” (40 percent) and “stress-free” (41 percent) are also resonating with travelers of other generations.

Suffice it to say that there is a massive pent-up demand for travel, and our online searches reflect that. The good news is that with more and more borders opening, it’s getting easier and easier to get back out there.

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