Google travel trends: closer to home, arrive by car and the outdoors

Recent Google data from the US has verified what we assumed was happening for a while: consumers have been cooped up since the pandemic started in March when travel searches fell sharply and now they want to get away, safely.

The source is Google Trends and Search Data U.S. but the parallels with key European markets are obvious e.g. Germany, Netherlands, UK, Belgium, Czech Republic.

This Summer has been a great success in Tirol for our operator with our owners’ apartments reporting rental income results >20% above expectation with September also looking positive.

German customers in particular feel comfortable travelling over the border into Austria by car: they can leave anytime, they want self-catering and they know that Tirol has only 395 confirmed infections and 108 deaths caused by the virus.

They can also find lots of nature and very few people: Tirol has a population density of 59 people per square kilometre versus Germany 232, Netherlands 521, England (UK) 424, Belgium 376, Czech Republic 135.

Here is a summary of the Google Trends and Search Data findings:

  • Searches for ski apartment (condo) rentals increased +40%
  • Tourists want outdoor destinations and travel options with more control
  • Hiking in national parks and wilderness areas are topping their lists
  • Searches in the category “winter travel destinations” grew by 30% year on year and “ski lodges and resorts” by 30% month over month
  • “The near outdoors” is 2020’s most popular destination