Industry Update
External Article 7 October 2021

Google: Holiday travel will look different this year. Here’s how marketers can be ready

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With the holiday season fast approaching, travelers are making choices we haven’t seen before. But that’s no cause for despair. While new COVID-19 variants inevitably affect consumer priorities, understanding how today’s travelers navigate the new normal can help you position your brand for success this holiday season. Here are the travel insights you need to know.


Craft a message for the cautious

Travel is rebounding after a brutal year and a half for the industry. Thirty-six percent of people around the globe are now participating in some sort of travel activity.1 Moreover, travelers say they feel safer, with the perceived risk of taking a vacation down by 17% since January 2021.2

On average, 45% of travelers said they planned to travel within their own countries in the early fall, and 8% planned to travel internationally.3 When it comes to holiday travel, 30% to 40% will plan trips a month or more in advance, while the majority will make plans less than a month ahead of time.

With so much subject to change right now, it’s no surprise that travelers want the flexibility to cancel or postpone trips. The New York Times reports that some luxury travelers are even “trip stacking,” or buying two trips for the same period in case one falls through due to unforeseen restrictions. In both the U.S. and EMEA, booking and cancellation flexibility ranks as the second most important factor influencing consumer holiday travel decisions, right behind price, deals, and discounts.

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