How will the World Cup affect Travel queries?

Friday, 28 May 2010 | 17:49

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By Rashad Sharif

In order to estimate the likely impact of the 2010 World Cup on UK travel queries, we have taken a look at the trends we saw during the last World Cup in 2006.

The graph below demonstrates the month on month (MoM) change in travel query volumes from May – July, across a five year period (2005-2009).

Every year, travel queries increased month-on-month by 2-5 % from May to June. This is expected seasonality as we get closer to the peak of the summer.

The only year we saw an exception to this seasonality was in 2006, the year the last World Cup was held, where we saw a 6% decrease MoM. As this is the only noticeable exception over a five year period, it is highly likely that the MoM decrease was the result of consumers choosing to stay at home to follow the tournament on television rather than travel.

This trend becomes more apparent when we look at MoM query growth between June and July, where generally we see a 3-9% increase. 2006 saw an above average 13% MoM in July, which indicates that interest in travel picked up immediately after the tournament ended.

We then looked at indexed travel queries on a daily basis, to see when exactly travel queries increase from June into July. The chart below shows daily indexed travel queries from May – July for three years 2005-2007 for comparative purposes:

Indexed query volumes in June 2006 were lower than in 2005/2007 – indicates less travel activity in 2006 as consumers watch the tournament at home rather than booking their holidays.

Change in seasonality at start of July 2006 - queries rose rapidly as soon as England dropped out of World Cup, whereas in 2005/2007 queries were falling during this time. This is a clear indication that consumers start looking for holidays once they lose interest in the tournament.