6 years ago

How travellers search for the most popular and less popular destinations [INFOGRAPHIC]

Market intelligence comes in many forms and James Murray at Hitwise has been playing with how data can be presented.

He has pulled together some interesting stats showing the dominance of destinations within a country as well as how consumers search for the most popular holiday hotspots and less popular destinations.

hitwise destinations v country search

The infographic shows the top 10 most popular flight destination searches from the UK for the three months to the end of July.

So, Spain accounts for 17% of all flight searches to a destination while Alicante makes up 9.2% of flight searches to Spain.

In pulling the data together Murray also discovered that for the most popular destinations such as Spain, consumers search on the specific destination, e.g. Alicante, while for less popular places, they search for the country.hitwise destinations v country search

As the image shows, for Cyprus and Turkey, consumers are conducting searches based on the country rather than a specific location within the country.

However, as he points out, once consumers become more familiar with destinations in a country searches on the country name reduce.

On the less specific searches to Australia, Murray says:

“may have something to do with the distances involved with flying to Australia, and because flights tend to be quite expensive, people are more interested in getting to Australia first.”

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About the Writer :: Linda Fox

Linda Fox is deputy editor for Tnooz. For the past eight years she has worked as a freelance journalist across a range of B2B titles including Travolution, ABTA Magazine, Travelmole and the Business Travel Magazine.

In this time she has also undertaken corporate projects for a number of high profile travel technology, travel management and research companies.

Prior to her freelance career she covered hotels and technology news for Travel Trade Gazette for seven years. Linda joined TTG from Caterer & Hotelkeeper where she worked on the features desk for more than five years.



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  1. DJ

    I don’t trust this data. Everything we have found shows that a term like “Majorca” would be more popular than “Balearic Islands”.

    In my experience, the issue of what trigger words people use in their search terms is not related to distance, it is related to familiarity. (In other words, you can’t predict what people type using data, it is about insight).

    People who have been to Spain many times on their holiday are more likely to type the resort or even airport name than the country name. Same goes in Ski, people who are familiar with Ski holidays are more likely to enter the resort name or even ski area than a country name.

    This should not be a revelation to anyone!

    • John

      Very good point DJ and well put. All of our studies have come to pretty much the same conclusions. Familiarity breeds a very defined search.

  2. TravelSort

    The infographic figure is 9.2% for Alicante and 16.4% for the Balearic Islands, but the text says “Alicante makes up 16.4% of flight searches to Spain.” May want to fix this typo.

  3. Tom Trotta

    It would be interesting to know if searches within the US are conducted in a similar way with less popular destinations being found through State searches first? Also, if distance still plays a part and where that begins to show up? Is it 300 miles away and longer?

    • Melanie

      For me it is! Maybe less than 300. Depends on airports, parking costs/availability, specific destination and how far from airport, etc.


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