Higher Google search volumes have been found to “strongly correlate” with increased demand for hotel rooms, according to a report by STR and Google.
The two companies studied the hotel sectors in New York and London in 2015 and 2016, and monitored trends between the number of Google searches for accommodation and actual room nights sold in these cities.
“Our study showed a statistically significant relationship between Google search data and the number of room nights actually sold in the two markets,” said Robert Bauer, senior analyst at STR. “Global markets vary greatly as it relates to seasonality, consumer travel behaviour and economic factors, but it is reasonable to project a similar correlation for other established markets in the hotel industry.
“This is important for hoteliers in assessing interest in a particular destination and measuring how booking patterns evolve around that interest,” he added.
In year-on-year comparisons, Google searches for accommodation in New York City grew 3% in 2015 then jumped 7.3% in 2016. Hotel demand (room nights sold) increased 2.8% in 2015 and 5.8% in 2016. Google search volumes for accommodation in New York also increased following the November 2016 election with high interest levels from both domestic and international travellers.
Accommodation searches in London rose 2.1% in 2015 but only 0.8% in 2016. Hotel demand in the UK capital increased 1.7% in both 2015 and 2016. November and December 2016 were particularly strong months for accommodation searches and demand in London, which was attributed to the fall in the value of the British pound.