The Point:  People are itching to travel again. Make their planning easier with a focus on flexibility, safety and the great outdoors.

Some good news on the travel front: People are starting to move again.

More than 850,000 travelers passed through US airport security checkpoints on August 16—nearly 10x the number in early April when shelter-in-place mandates began.1 While it’s still just one third of the volume compared to a year ago, we're beginning to see signs of recovery.2

For travelers, Pinterest is often the first place they go when starting to plan their next adventure. As a result, travel brands are studying the latest search trends on our platform to determine how to engage consumers—and how to boost demand.

Some of the trends we’re seeing? With COVID-19 still a concern, car-centered vacations are gaining ground. We’re also seeing a spike for outdoor-focused destinations, as people turn to the great outdoors to travel safely. But air travel isn’t totally off the table—so some searches are soaring for those topics, too.

248%

increase in searches year over year for “road trips routes"2

60%

increase in searches year over year for “national parks"4

1257%

increase in searches year over year for “RV camping tips"2

173%

increase in searches year over year for “airplane essentials”2

Many travel brands are using Pinterest to help inspire people to travel again. Here are some recent examples—along with tips you can use to connect with travelers:

When Disney closed all of its parks and retail stores, they wanted to bring some Disney “magic” into people's homes. Disney Parks used Pinterest to share recipes Pinners could make at home, as well as rides that Pinners could take in a virtual way.

1. Help travelers imagine the future

Think about ways you can bring what’s unique about your brand—your food, your culture, your experience—into people’s homes so they’ll want to plan a trip with your brand when the time is right.

France-based hospitality brand Accor’s Ibis Hotels has offered increased flexibility with bookings to give travelers peace of mind.

2. Reassure travelers by sharing your plans for safety and trust
Consider ways to reassure travelers that they can hit the road with confidence and that bookings are flexible if plans have to change.

3. Keep travel within reach

If it fits for your brand, find ways to help people ease back into the travel habit without having to make substantial time, distance, or financial commitments.

Mindful that people need to ease back into things, Hilton has featured inspirational travel ideas closer to home including Staycations, Getaways, and day trips.

Hilton ad for staycations in Chicago
Hilton ad for trips in California
Hilton ad for weekend trips from Toronto

4. Stay on top of the trends

Use trends on Pinterest to remain relevant with travelers, sharing content and ads that reflect where they’re planning to travel next.

Acting on the insight that searches for “national parks” had increased 60% year over year (YoY) on Pinterest, Southwest Airlines built customized creative to help travelers visualize their trip. They included a Pinterest trend badge on their Pin series, lending further credibility to the moment as it was unfolding.

Southwest ad about travel trends to national parks
Southwest ad about trips to Seattle
Southweast ad about Yosemite

5. Personalize your message based on peoples’ passions

Now’s the time to learn what your audience is really passionate about. Make sure your creative highlights how traveling with your brand will bring people closer to what they love.

Visit California studied Pinterest’s travel personas to make sure they were appealing to people’s passions for travel that included wellness, spa, family, adventure and foodie experiences.

Visit California ad for wellness adventures
Visit California ad for fitness tips
Visit California ad for spa resorts

We’ve seen the trends in our data—Pinners are itching to get back out there. Now’s the time to make sure you have the right strategies in place for when demand starts to really take off once again.

Written by

ASHISH ARYA

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Footnotes
2

Internal Pinterest data, US normalized searches, June 2019 compared to June 2020