News In Brief

‘Desktop Holidays’ on the rise: guests beat the January Blues by browsing holidays online

Renowned British neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis has identified a rise in people browsing holiday sites in January as a means of escapism, terming this ‘desktop holidays’.

The news comes as Airbnb releases data showing a significant rise in how long people spend lusting after holiday destinations in January. Typically guests browse for 36 percent more time in January than December, which Dr David Lewis attributes to the intrinsic desire for a feel-good boost.

Research from the UK confirms that 75 percent of people regularly browse travel websites to cheer themselves up – one-in-three doing so when they should be working. This isn’t the only coping mechanism however; one-in-ten admit to taking a sniff of sunscreen for a spot of sensory escapism, and actually booking a holiday makes 15 percent of women happier than sex.

Neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis comments that for the British: “January is the month when Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is most severe. Grey skies, short days and a lack of sunshine can lead to bouts of ‘winter depression’ by increasing the production of melatonin by the brain’s pineal gland. The hormone can generate feelings of despair, guilt, a loss of pleasure in everyday activities, irritability and a lack of energy.

“One answer is to use the internet to fantasise about your perfect holiday in the sun. This form of ‘Mind Travel’ causes feel-good chemicals such as dopamine, dubbed the ‘pleasure pedal,’ to flood into your brain making us happier, more energetic and more optimistic.”

The number of booking per minute also sees a spike in January, up 18 percent on the yearly average. “Airbnb sees an average 45 bookings per minute in January, compared to a yearly average of 38 per minute,” the company revealed.

January could be the ideal time to up your online marketing game!

Rosie Clarke

Rosie Clarke is managing editor at Multimedia Publishing.

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