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Mobile searches for travel grew 26% in APAC: Google report

Singaporeans are among the most well-travelled in the world – with close to 9.5 million overseas trips reported in 2016, the latest Asia-Pacific Travel Dashboard by Google found.

Travel searches in the region grew 11 per cent year on year. There was a strong growth from emerging markets such as India (+40 per cent YoY) and Vietnam (+26 per cent YoY). In Asia-Pacific, mobile is fast becoming the preferred platform to make travel-related searches as people continue to explore travel option on the go, the research highlighted. There was a 26 per cent increase in mobile searches in Asia-Pacific across various travel categories such as destinations, flight and accommodation options, travel packages, and activities to fill their itineraries.

Searches for travel products in 13 Asia-Pacific countries. Courtesy: Google

In Singapore, interest for travel continues to grow, and travel-related searches increased by five per cent in 2016. Searches peaked during the June and December holiday seasons, with a four per cent dip in travel queries seen in the first quarter of 2017.

Ryan Ferguson, Travel Lead for Asia-Pacific, Google said, “Travel continues to be a fast-growing sector across Asia-Pacific countries. We’ve seen travellers in Asia turn to Google search at various stages of their holiday planning driving a 26 per cent increase in searches for hotels year on year, while searches for the air sector grew 13 per cent. With the refresh of our Asia-Pacific Travel Dashboard, we hope to work with travel businesses to bring greater value and more relevant content to meet the evolving needs of discerning travellers in the region.”

Searches on Google show that 67 per cent of people in Singapore do not have a brand in mind when searching for travel-related queries during the early planning stages of their trips. They start searching for preferred brands when they are narrowing down their choices or when they are ready to book.

Other countries in Southeast Asia showed interest in Vietnam as a tourist destination. Interest in Vietnam increased 14 per cent year on year, and top choices of destinations to visit in the country are Ho Chih Minh City, Hanoi and Da Nang. Interest in Phú Quốc Island has also surged by 40 per cent in the last year.

While overseas travel make up 61 per cent of searches, a significant 39 per cent of searches by Singaporeans relate to local attractions – indicating that Singaporeans aren’t just looking overseas for a quick getaway.