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Exploring Google’s Travel Insights

If you’re in the travel sector and haven’t explored Google’s new Travel Insights tool, put that next on your to-do list. Google created this tool specifically for companies in the travel industry to help discover new trends and reach potential travellers at every stage of the buyer’s journey. 

With the world slowly recovering from the pandemic, the tourism industry is returning. Now is the ideal time to drive interest. The information provided by Google’s new application can help narrow down your online advertising targeting and reach the right audience at the right time, while making your campaigns more cost-effective. Higher traffic and leads for a lower cost – what more could you ask for? 

Within Travel Insights, there are three different features: Destination Insights, Hotel Insights, and Travel Analytics Centre. 

The three features of Google Travel Insights: Destination Insights, Hotel Insights, and travel Analytics Center

Destination Insights

Google collects search data indicating travel interest for that specific country or city and displays the information in an easy-to-digest, readable format with charts and metrics. With all this data broken down into four segments, travel demand, geographical demand, demand growth, and origins of demand, you can use this information to determine which travellers are interested in visiting which countries.

Chart showing travel trend statistics

Hotel Insights

This feature analyzes search queries within a certain period and informs you where interest in your region as a travel destination is at the highest. Google gathers search queries worldwide and categorizes this information based on the location of the user and places they are searching to stay at. With this information at your disposal, you can ensure you’re targeting the right audience at the right time, making the most out of your budget and resources. You can dive into insights on travel interest from both domestic and international areas and compare this year’s trends with last year’s.

Two charts showing data of search interest

Travel Analytics Centre

This feature is only available for commercial travel partners. To become a commercial travel partner, the advertising team has to reach Google criteria in 3 segments: performance, spend and certification. 

The Travel Analytics Centre provides useful information that can help improve operations and strategic decision making. There are three main segments:

  • Travel Demand Insights:
      • Gauge the travel interest and demand for a particular destination, now and in the future
      • Can be used to plan future marketing campaigns
        • Help provide answers to where, who, and when
  • Marketing Performance:
      • Discover benchmark metrics for specific locations
      • Useful information to determine how well your marketing campaigns are performing and help find ways to optimize
  • Google Flights Performance:
    • Only available for Google Flights Search or Enterprise partners – can monitor flight services here

Real-World Application

If you’re still not convinced on how useful Google Travel Insights can be, let’s apply this to a hypothetical real-world setting. John Smith is the owner of a hotel in New York City that’s known as Garden Resort. As travel restrictions are being lifted in the country, he wants to take advantage of this opportunity and reach potential travellers. However, he hasn’t launched any new marketing campaigns since the pandemic started due to budget cuts so he has no idea where to even start with his planning. With zero knowledge on who’s looking to travel, when they want to and where popular destinations are, John will be able to find some answers with Google’s Travel Insight tool.

Using the Destination Insights tool, John is able to gauge the demand for vacations in New York City. 

List of most popular cities by those searching to travel the USA
USA travel demand locations

From these charts, he can see that travel demand for New York specifically is increasing now that restrictions are loosening, which means that now would be an ideal time to start expanding his marketing efforts. 

To dive deeper into the travel interest, John can use the Hotel Insights tool to discover which areas have a higher demand as a desired destination and use that information to pinpoint his targeting to reach the right geographical audience.

Bar graph showing the origin of interest in traveling to New York City

With all this information at his disposal, John can make data-driven decisions if he was planning on running Google Search or social media ads. Understanding where to geographically target your campaigns will help ensure that your advertising costs are being used effectively to reach the right audience. According to the information, it will be wise for him to focus his targeting within the United States as that is where he will get the most traffic from. However, if he wants to attract international visitors, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico and France will be great options as well.

Applying the Data to Your Decision Making 

With the release of Travel Insights with Google, travel industry marketing has certainly reached a new level with more information easily accessible to advertisers in the field. Now we are able to see real-time travel trends that are crucial for making those all-important data-driven decisions. If you’d like to learn more about this tool and how you can leverage it in your own marketing efforts, contact linda@wallop.ca.