Skift Take

During the first quarter, travelers searched for longer vacations in the June to September period, reflecting continued economic recovery in some regions. Now we'll see if those searches translate to bookings.

There’s nothing like a long vacation, but travelers from the Middle East and Africa want the longest vacations in the June to September period, according to findings from Sojern, a travel data company.

Travelers around the world searched for vacations of eight or more days more than they searched for travel lasting one week or less (see chart below). Middle East and African travelers searched for the longest vacations with 56% of those travelers planning a vacation of 14 or more days and 71% planning a trip eight days or more.

This even beats travelers from Europe, which is renowned for the ample and mandatory time-off it grants: 56% of European travelers searched for trips of eight days or more while 40% Europeans searched for vacations of 14-plus days.

“Travelers in the Middle East and Africa are probably trying to escape the intense heat in those regions during the summer for as long as possible,” said Kurt Weinsheimer, a spokesperson for Sojern.

June and July were also the most-searched months for travel across all continents in the July to September period and school bells heavily influence these plans.

“Many schools now start in mid to late August in the U.S., but when we look at European travel, August is still a prime travel month for them because their children often start school later and that could be why that group searched for August travel the most (23%),” said Weinsheimer.

To clarify, June to September are summer months in the northern hemisphere but it is winter for people living in Australia, South America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Trip Durations Travelers Searched For By Region During First Quarter 2015 for Travel Between June 1 and September 30, 2015

Duration of Trip U.S. Travelers Latin American Travelers European Travelers Middle East/African Travelers Asia/Pacific Travelers
0 to 2 Days 9% 18% 18% 15% 28%
3 to 5 Days 22% 11% 11% 6% 12%
6 to 7 Days 22% 13% 15% 8% 10%
8 or More Days 47% 58% 56% 71% 50%
Breakdown of 8 or More Days
11 or More Days 33% 48% 44% 62% 40%
14 or More Days 27% 42% 40% 56% 35%

Source: Sojern

The Cities Seeing the Most Increase in Flight Searches

As Americans considering where to vacation this summer with the little time off they receive, early searches indicate lots of interest in Canadian and European cities.

The Canadian cities of Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary are among the top 10 destinations that saw the highest increase in flight search volumes from American travelers year-over-year, based on data from Kayak.

To be clear, these weren’t the most-searched cities, but the searches increased compared with 2014. The data include flight searches from May 1, 2014 to March 1, 2015 for travel occurring between May 1, 2015 to September 30, 2015 and Canadians’ searches were also included.

Searches for Calgary were up 27% year-over-year and up 44% and 32% for Toronto and Vancouver year-over-year, respectively. To be fair, major events happening this summer in those and other cities that made the top-searched list probably influenced their rise, said David Solomito, director of brand marketing for Kayak.

This summer, Toronto is hosting the Pan Am Games, Vancouver will host the Women’s World Cup final, Edinburgh has The Fringe festival in August and Milan has the World Expo.

European destinations account for half of the top 10 destinations Americans and Canadians searched for and flight searches for Europe are up 7% year-over-year. The weakened Euro likely factors into that as Skift reported last week.

These new trending cities in Americans’ browser search histories aren’t replacing time-honored summer destinations like Orlando, Las Vegas and New York City. Sojern’s data show these cities still reigned at the top of U.S. travelers’ summer travel searches conducted between January and March 2015.

Asian cities claim seven of the top 10 ‘deals’ destination cities where the average round-trip airfare from the U.S. saw the highest decreases year-over-year for May 1, 2015 to September 30, 2015.

Top 10 Destinations With the Highest Increases in Flight Searches From the U.S. and Canada For Travel May 1 to September 30, 2015

Rank City % Increase in Flight Searches 2014 Vs. 2013
1 Kona, Hawaii 48%
2 Toronto, Canada 44%
3 Hyderabad, India 39%
4 Milan, Italy 36%
5 Vancouver, Canada 32%
6 Reykjavik, Iceland 29%
7 Calgary, Canada 27%
8 Copenhagen, Denmark 25%
9 Edinburgh, Scotland 24%
10 Madrid, Spain 22%

Top 10 Destinations With Largest Average Decreases in Round-Trip Airfare from U.S. and Canada For Summer Travel 2015 vs. 2014

Rank City % Decrease in Avg. Round-Trip Airfare Summer 2015 vs. 2014
1 Tel Aviv, Israel 22%
2 Hyderabad, India 17%
3 Hong Kong 16%
4 Bangkok, Thailand 16%
5 Johannesburg, South Africa 15%
6 Manila, Philippines 14%
7 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 13%
8 Beijing, China 13%
9 Athens, Greece 11%
10 Maui, Hawaii 11%

Source: Kayak


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Tags: kayak, summer travel

Photo credit: A hot sunny Memorial Day at Rockaway Beach in New York. Dan DeLuca / Flickr

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