How to Use Google to Track Travel Search Trends | Orioly

How to Use Google to Track Travel Search Trends

Keeping an eye on travel search trends is key for any tour company wanting to make the most of travel rebound.

Understanding travel behavior and the traveler needs in a post-pandemic world is one of the challenges for the next years in the tourism industry.

Luckily, since the world has moved online, those travelers produce tons of useful data that tour operators can use to plan their business and guide their marketing efforts.

In 2020, every person generated 1.7 megabytes in just a second. (Source: IBM)

Valuable information can be scavenged out of this data. However, for that, you need specific tools. Some are paid, but others are free to use like Google Trends.

Learn more about this tool and how you can use it to discover travel search trends in this article.

How do people search for your brand? What about others, your competitors? What are the terms they most search for?

Google Trends is a free web application based on Google search results. It uses real-time search data from Google users and makes it available for anyone to consult.

Google gets over 3.5 billion searches daily. (Source: Internet Live Stats)

This is the perfect tool to gauge consumer search behavior over time. In other words, use it to discover travel search trends.

With Google Trends, you can find out how often a particular term is searched for, and where it is most popular.

It has an intuitive interface. Data is displayed through graphs and maps, which makes it easier to interpret.

google trends screen shot showing travel search trends

Hardly you will find another free tool that is as powerful as Google Trends in terms of search data analysis.

We live in the big data era, and that’s great for your business!

Customer behavior is a complex matter. Getting inside the mind of someone planning a trip in order to understand their taste, desires and interests is something an average tour operator could just dream of a few years ago.

Nowadays, we can rely on the data generated by thousands of travelers searching online to predict what they want. Thus, operators can be one step forward in fulfilling their needs.

That is amazing, isn’t it?

Studying travel search trends will help you with:

  • Product development: Understand what your ideal customer is looking for and create experiences that attend their needs.
  • Market research: Learn the latest trends in specific markets during a certain period of time, and use this knowledge to change your target market if necessary.
  • Marketing campaigns: Focus your paid campaigns on Google and Facebook on the right audience and region.
  • Content marketing: Create content that answers your audience’s questions and share them on social media.

The bottom line is, understanding your customers reduces costs and gets you more bookings.

Now that you know more about Google Trends, it’s time to incorporate it into your routine. To help you with this, we have prepared a case study based on a safari operator.

a woman in a protective medical mask at the airport travel search trends

Let’s say you are a tour operator from Kenya and you provide safari tours.

Most of your customers come from the USA and Western Europe, but now you want to explore a new market. You are interested in targeting Germany, but you are not sure if there are potential guests for your safari tours.

By using Google Trends, you can find out what terms Germans google when they search for safaris. Also, the volume of searches over time and the geographical location inside Germany where people are searching for them.

Let’s see how it works.

Exploring travel search trends is all about choosing the right keyword. For our example, the term is “safari”.

To start exploring our target market, we will analyze how often the term “safari” is searched in Germany.

For that, we need to set a time period. For this example, the past 12 months. Now we need to choose the category and data source.

We’ve picked “Specialty Travel” we the category for the search and as the data source we’ve chosen “Web Searches”.

google trends travel screenshot safari keyword

Time analysis

Time is very important when you are analyzing travel search trends. People’s interests change over time depending on a series of factors.

For this query, we got some interesting results.

In the past 12 months, Germans have googled “safari” most in May. By analyzing the graph, we can see that Germans’ interest in safaris is growing since the beginning of the year.

google travel search trends screenshot

It’s possible that during this period they are looking for opportunities to book a trip if they have a chance to. This is a good sign for you to boost your marketing efforts during this time.

Location analysis

Travel search trends can also vary from region to region amongst the same population.

For our example, in addition to the time frame, we can see in which subregions of Germany people googled “safari” the most.

google travel trends in germany screenshot

Bremen, Berlin and Hesse are the locations with the highest interest in our search term.

Knowing the target audience location is essential for you to launch more accurate marketing campaigns. With this information, you can create high-converting campaigns on Google Ads or Facebook Ads for example.

Other interests

People interested in “safari” also searched for Lodging, Kenya and Tanzania.

The terms that people in Germany widely googled during the selected period were “tanzania safari” and “big five safari” (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo safari).

travel trends google trending topics screenshot

By selecting “Rising” on the dropdown menu at the top, we can see which search terms are growing in popularity.

That is extra food for your marketing campaigns.

screenshot google trends related topics travel search trends

Definitely, a safari operator targeting German tourists should tailor their offer to supply the demand for big five safaris.

You can repeat the search performed for this example by clicking here.


With the least effort, Google Trends gives you valuable free data that will bring consistent results if used properly.

From an effective marketing plan to better business decisions, the benefits are many.

If you want to dive deeper into digital marketing and learn how to turn travel search trends into effective marketing campaigns, check out our eBook “Comprehensive Guide to Online Marketing in Tourism”.

You can download it for free by clicking the link below.

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