Monday, November 28, 2011

Google Data on Online Travel

Google presented some interesting data on Online Travel at a recent Vacation Rental Manager Association’s Annual Conference in Orlando.

1. Vacation Rentals Search:

Searching for Vacation Rentals online is becoming more popular. Specifically, there has been 42% year on year growth for popular vacation rental queries at There has also been 34% growth in overall travel terms over the same time period.

This is good news for vacation rental owners and indicates that the market is continuing to grow.

2. Travel Decision Making:

When making a decision, travellers in 2011:
read email from a travel company (27%)
used a search engine (85%)
searched online hotel reviews (49%)
read online travel reviews (37%)
read online comments (25%)

The importance of online vacation rental Reviews continues to grow. Although many vacation rental owners have mixed feelings about this trend, it is clear that vacation rental owners with a lot of (good) reviews will benefit in terms of increased bookings. Interestingly, 67% of travellers say they trust online reviews as much as word of mouth!

3. Travel Purchase Timeframe and Planning Window:

Although there will always be last minute bookings, most travellers began thinking about the travel purchase at least one month before taking their trip. The breakdown is:

More than 6 months (37%)
4-6 months before (8%)
2-3 months before (24%)
1 month before (21%)
3 weeks before (10%)

Again, this is good news for Vacation Rentals Owners, as it allows time to make arrangements for advance payment, key pick up etc etc.

4. Use of Mobile for Travel Search:

The use of Mobile in travel search is exploding and Google estimate that there will be
29.7M mobile travel researches by 2012 in US alone.

At the moment, 19.5% of Google queries in the hotel and accommodations category are on a mobile phone. There has been a 377% of year-over-year increase in query volume and an
844% increase in click volume in the last year.

The increase has been even more pronounced for Vacation Rentals, with Vacation Rental an increase 2 times the volume increase for general travel.

Intreresting to note that 9 out of 10 searchers have taken action as a result of a smartphone search. With almost 50% of Americans having a Smart phone by the end of the year, this is becoming increasingly important.

5. YouTube and Travel :

At the moment, 40% of all web traffic is online video and Google estimate that 90% of all traffic will be online video by 2014..

Increasingly, travel enthusiasts watch online video:

62% of travel enthusiasts watch online video on YouTube
70% of travel enthusiasts watch video watch when choosing a travel destination
69% of travel enthusiasts watch video watch when choosing accommodations in a destination

Hence, it might be worth posting a video of your vacation rental home!

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