LONDON, March 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Searches for holidays online in January were up a massive 42% on November 2011 levels, according to the latest quarterly research from leading independent digital marketing agency, Greenlight. This may in part, perhaps, have been drivenby savvy consumers looking to book holidays early and additionally pre-empting last week's budget announcement in which Chancellor George Osborne confirmed the double inflationary increase in Air Passenger Duty (APD) to all destinations commencing 1 April 2012.
Greenlight's report, 'Holidays Issue 12',which profiles search behaviour in the holidays sector, based on analysis of online search-related data sourced from Hydra's One Platform, a leading provider of SaaS tools for digital marketers, found there were more than 4.4 million searches conducted online using holiday-related keywords in January, compared to 3.1 million in November 2011.
North American holiday searches made dramatic gains
Whilst searches for holidays within Europe remained the most popular, accounting for a 39%share of consumer online holiday-related queries, actual search volumes were down on November 2011 levels. It was the same for holiday searches to Africa, which in November 2011 had beenwell ahead of North America.
North America made the highest gains holiday query-wise. UK consumer search volumes totalled 305,948in January compared to 186,740 in November 2011. This saw the region's share of holiday-related queries increase from 15% in November to 21% in January.
The Caribbean & South America, Far East & Australasia and the Middle East & South Asia also made good gains.
Table 1: Number of searches by Geographic region (November 2011 and January 2012)
Geographic Region Number of searches % share January 2012 Europe 570,983 39% North America 305,948 21% Africa 188,017 13% Caribbean & South America 175,607 12% Far East & Australasia 132, 655 9% Middle East & South Asia 97,454 7% November 2011 Europe 573,036 47% Africa 211,349 17% North America 186,740 15% Caribbean & South America 106,061 9% Far East & Australasia 84,054 7% Middle East & South Asia 64,013 5%
Source: Greenlight (Powered by Hydra)
Thomson and Virgin most visible sites and increased their lead
Greenlight's report also analysed which brands and review sites were the most visible in both natural and paid media results and hence received the greatest share of consideration when UK consumers searched for holidays on Google UK.
Searches for holidays to short haul destinations (largely within Europe) totalled 570,000 in January 2012 and Thomson maintained its lead as the most visible site to consumer searches in natural search. It achieved a 79% share of visibility, an increase of 15% compared to November 2011.
Virgin Holidays likewise maintained its lead as the most visible site for long haul holiday destinations increasing its share of visibility from 53% in November 2011 to 59% in January 2012.
However, with news reports* that the APD rise will add about £250 to the cost for a family of four flying to Florida and around £360 more to the cost for a four-person family flight to Australia, it remains to be seen if UK consumer online searches for holidays to the currently popular geographic zones, as highlighted in Greenlight's report, might be impacted.
Notes to Editors:
*Metro Newspaper - Article 22 March 2012
Greenlight is a leading independent digital marketing agency, the largest of its kind in Europe and the fastest growing. With over 100 blue-chip clients including Santander, New Look, Sky and ghd, Greenlight is a leader in the digital marketing space, and is recognized worldwide for its commitment to delivering record ROI for its clients and investing in the future.
Greenlight is considered the premier thought leader in the sector, publishing widely read industry reports, original research, speaking at trade events, and delivering a highly respected digital marketing training programme via the Greenlight Academy. Founded in 2001, Greenlight is headquartered in London, with offices in New York. http://www.greenlightdigital.com