STR and Google find strong correlation between searches and hotel bookings
Higher Google search volumes are strongly correlated with higher hotel demand levels, according to an analysis from STR and Google.
For the purpose of their regression analysis, STR and Google selected New York City and London as case study markets due to proportionate market size and other comparable hotel performance indicators. Search patterns and hotel performance trends were studied for each market in 2015 and 2016.
“Our study showed a statistically significant relationship between Google search data and the number of roomnights actually sold in the two markets,” said Robert Bauer, STR senior analyst. “Global markets vary greatly as it relates to seasonality, consumer travel behavior 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.”
In year-over-year comparisons, Google searches for accommodation in New York City grew 3% in 2015 then jumped 7.3% in 2016. Hotel demand (roomnights sold) increased 2.8% in 2015 and 5.8% in 2016. Google search volume for accommodations in New York increased following the November 2016 election with high interest levels from both domestic and international travelers.
Accommodation searches in London rose 2.1% in 2015 but only 0.8% in 2016. Hotel demand in the U.K. capital increased 1.7% in both 2015 and 2016. November and December of 2016 were particularly strong months for accommodation searches and demand in London, which is attributable to the fall in the value of the British pound.