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Travel bounces back on Google, while retail takes a hit

For more insights and key statistics on the biggest trends in today's most disruptive industries, subscribe to our Chart of the Day newsletter.

US consumers pined for pre-pandemic pleasures in Q4 2021, with the delta wave receding and omicron just entering the frame—and it showed in their search behavior. Organic Google search visits to travel sites increased 41% year over year that quarter. Meanwhile, retail and consumer goods took a hit: Visits to those sites decreased 14% as the prospects of in-store shopping improved.

Beyond the chart: For travel, 2021 was a year of rebounds. The boost in organic search traffic came after a 19% decline in Q4 2020 and dovetailed with the bounce back in digital ad spending. The US travel industry invested 18.7% more in digital ads last year, but that was still $2.55 billion less than it did in 2019, per our estimates.