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What’s Captifying The World: Travel Searches ‘Take Off’ As COVID-19 Vaccines Fuel Optimism For The Year Ahead

It’s no secret that travel has been one of the most adversely impacted verticals by the COVID-19 pandemic – with many countries shutting their borders and enforcing strict travel restrictions to curb the spread of the disease.

According to Forbes, in the first 10 months of 2020 alone, COVID-19 cost the global tourism industry a staggering $935 billion in revenue.

However, 2021 isn’t necessarily all doom and gloom. Search data reveals that some travelers are optimistic about the year ahead.

Vaccines fuel travel optimism

Captify analyzed billions of searches from August 2020 into January 2021 to understand how vaccines are impacting travel searches across the globe.

Our platform identified a 753% uplift in travel searches between August when vaccine news was swirling, and January, when multiple vaccines began rolling-out across the globe, suggesting that positive vaccine news is having a knock-on effect on consumer interest and appetite for travel.

When Pfizer–BioNTech announced their vaccine was more than 90% effective against COVID-19 on Nov 9, Captify saw a 69% increase in searches for travel the following day. 

Other search increases include:

  • 111% search uplit for travel on Dec 19, the day after Moderna announced they’d received FDA authorization of their vaccine in the US
  • 114% search uplift for travel on the day (Dec 30) that the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine was approved for emergency supply in the UK

Despite a slight dip in travel interest in early January, Captify saw a 220% search uplift between Jan 14-17 as many travel brands began to kick off their advertising campaigns with more flexible booking messaging.

Retirees drive travel searches

If you think Solo Travelers, Millennials, and Gen Z are still the main drivers of travel searches, think again. 

In the last two months, between December and January, Captify saw a notable surge in travel searches from older generations, with Retirees searching around travel 11.6x more than any other audience group. 

This increased confidence to travel again is driven by the prioritized vaccine roll-out amongst the older age groups, positioning them as an emerging travel audience and important growth segment for the travel industry.

This insight is further reinforced by the top moment that travelers are researching around this year – Summer Vacations

Turn to data to inform your travel bounce back

Although travel is set to be different this year, brand marketers can lean on search data to understand consumer intent and inform more accurate media planning and activation strategies.

By understanding which audiences and booking moments are going to be most influential in 2021, travel brands can fuel scenario planning, activate bounce back plans and spot new opportunities for driving bookings with those who are ready to travel.

If you’re interested to hear more about the latest trends impacting your brand or vertical, get in touch.

*Data sourced from Captify’s global network from 08/01/20 to 01/19/21

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