U.S. travel is making a comeback but it’s not the same in every state. The decision to travel again is a personal one and the sentiment towards travel seems to vary greatly between each of the 50 states. Our team turned to Google search data to better understand how the travel recovery is playing out across America. Our primary goal was to see which state’s residents were making the most travel-related searches.
“Prior to completing this study, we had seen substantial quarter-over-quarter growth on our own website, to the tune of 2 million additional visitors and thousands more travel bookings,” said Dayne Ford, Founder and CEO of TripsToDiscover.com. “We’ve been producing travel content and working with travel booking partners since 2014 and have never seen such a sharp increase. We had to know more.”
Our analysis focused on the Google search activity of each state’s residents in three core travel categories: hotels, flights, and cruises. We used the Google search scores to rank the U.S. states for 2019 and then 2021, year-to-date. We also included changes in rank which represent the impact, either negative or positive, on search activity between then and now.
Then, we analyzed and charted the states by composition of travel search category to provide a clear picture of what people in each state are most interested in this year versus 2019.
Below that, we’ve also included a 12-month chart illustrating how sharp the upward trend is for travel search across America. Needless to say, our nation’s overall interest in travel is recovering quickly, particularly in the hotel category.
Our 3 Most Interesting Findings:
1. Florida remains the #1 most active state for travel search activity, unchanged from 2019.
2. Alabama has experienced the largest growth in travel search activity since 2019, moving from #30 to #6.
3. Conversely, Hawaii has seen the largest decrease in travel search activity since 2019, moving from #5 to #33.
We used direct data exports from Google Trends to compile the charts in this study. The timeframe used for all year-to-date data was January 1 – April 8, 2021. If you would like to learn more, Google provides a guide about how it represents search activity within Google Trends. To produce the Travel Search Ranked by State chart we combined the search score for each state within each of the three core travel categories and then ranked the list 1-51, from the highest to lowest total score. The data relating to TripsToDiscover.com was sourced from Google Analytics.
About Trips To Discover:
Trips To Discover is a travel publication with a focus on engaging, actionable travel content. Each year we help over 17 million travelers by providing high-quality content alongside user-friendly booking tools. Learn more about our company.
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