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Long-haul destinations make comeback during Q2

New report indicates sustained travel in demand despite headwinds

A new Expedia Group report shows that despite industry and economic influences impacting the sector during Q2, people still found a way to travel with long-haul travel, and particularly London and Paris, once again back in vogue.

Key findings in the Q2 2022 Traveller Insights Report, which combines Expedia Group first-party data and research with actionable insights and industry examples to support travel marketers on their continued journey toward rebuilding, show long-haul travel increased, growing interest in inclusive travel, and overall, demand staying strong despite rising costs.

Expedia Group  Global Vice President Media Solutions, Jennifer Andre said the return of long-haul and international family travel, higher hotel average daily rates and higher average ticket prices in Q2, are just a few positive indicators for what the organisation hope will be a strong second half of 2022.

“Despite a variety of industry and economic headwinds during Q2, people still found a way to travel, and in many cases, went further afield,” she said.

Key findings from the Q2 2022 Traveller Insights Report include:

Travel Searches Hold Steady

Following a 25 percent quarter-over-quarter surge in searches globally between Q4 2021 and Q1 2022 across the Expedia Group branded sites, search volumes held steady in Q2, indicating sustained interest and enthusiasm to travel. Asia Pacific (APAC) saw strong double-digit growth between Q1 and Q2 (30 percent), followed by Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) at 10 percent.

Week-over-week global search volume fluctuated throughout Q2, with the strongest gains during the week of June 6. Week-over-week searches globally increased 10 percent following the June 10 announcement that the U.S. would no longer require COVID-19 testing for international travellers.

Search Windows Still Shorter

Seasonal holidays and a palpable desire to travel in the near term, coupled with economic and pandemic-related concerns and regional instability, contributed to growth in shorter search windows during Q1. Global share of searches in the 0 to 90 day window increased more than 5 percent quarter-over-quarter, with the 61 to 90 day window seeing the largest quarter-over-quarter lift at 15 percent.   

In Q2, the majority of global domestic searches fell within the 0 to 30 day window, while the share of searches in the 91 to 180+ day window decreased quarter-over-quarter. The continued easing of travel restrictions and testing requirements contributed to a double-digit quarter-over-quarter lift in international searches globally in the 0 to 90 day window, with the strongest growth in the 61 to 90 day window.

This indicates that even though travellers have reverted to planning for the near term, they are still considering international trips.

Destinations and travel brands should ensure international travellers are part of the audience targeting mix, and leverage search window and destination insights to further bolster their marketing strategy.

Long-Haul Destinations Returning

As with prior quarters, major cities and beach destinations around the world remained popular with travellers in Q2, but London and Paris had particularly strong showings. On the global top 10 list of booked destinations in Q2, London took the No. 3 spot, and made the top 10 list of booked destinations across all regions. London was the No. 1 booked destination by travellers from APAC and EMEA and made new appearances on the top 10 lists for travellers from Latin America (LATAM) and North America (NORAM).

Q2 also saw a significant increase in demand for long-haul flights – flights with a duration of 4-plus hours – as travellers look to go further afield. There was more than a 50 percent year-over-year increase in global traveller demand for long-haul flights.

Further illustrating the rise in long-haul flights, Q2 delivered more than 100 percent year-over-year growth in traveller demand for flights from the U.S. to Europe.

Demand Stays Strong Despite Rising Costs

Q2 continued the growth momentum from Q1, with lodging bookings at the highest in Expedia Group history. A prior-year comparison shows total gross bookings were up by double digits, as travel demand further improved. Lodging demand increased quarter-over-quarter in Q2, with APAC seeing the strongest growth. With sustained demand globally, average daily rates (ADR) in Q2 increased quarter-over-quarter and even more so compared to Q2 2019, while room night cancellation rates globally declined by double digits compared to Q2 2019.

Strong demand, rising fuel costs, and an increase in longer-distance flights booked drove a quarter-over-quarter increase in the global average ticket price during Q2.

Compared to Q2 2019, the global average ticket price was up double-digits in Q2 2022, led by EMEA and APAC.

Growing Interest in Inclusive Travel

People around the world are increasingly seeking ways to have more meaningful and conscientious travel experiences. According to Expedia Group’s recent Inclusive Travel Insights Report, 92 percent of consumers think it is important for travel providers to meet the accessibility needs of all travellers, yet only half of consumers have seen options that are accessible to all abilities when they are searching for and booking a trip.

These insights point to the gap in accessible and inclusive options in the travel marketplace, as well as the opportunities for travel brands to improve offerings and make travel accessible to all travellers, everywhere.

Consumers are also paying attention to a travel brand’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, and accessibility, and these commitments are influencing purchasing decisions.

In fact, 78 percent of consumers said they have made a travel choice based on promotions or ads that they felt represented them through messaging or visuals, while seven in 10 consumers would choose a destination, lodging, or transportation option that is more inclusive of all types of travellers, even if it’s more expensive.


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