Q4 2023 travel industry trends for affiliate marketers

Each quarter we share our exclusive first-party traveler search and booking data to uncover the latest traveler insights and help affiliate marketers identify opportunities to inspire and convert travelers. Let’s look at our key findings from Q3 2023 data and unpack how these insights can help shape your affiliate marketing strategy


Search volumes remain steady, with continued growth in EMEA

Globally, Q3 search volume remained steady quarter over quarter (QOQ)and year over year (YOY). Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) showed the strongest search volume growth, with a 10% increase QOQ and a 5% increase YOY. 


Meanwhile, compared to last year, travelers in Asia Pacific (APAC) and Latin America (LATAM) planned farther ahead for the holiday season, with searches in Q3 for travel in November and December 2023 increasing by approximately 10% YOY.

In addition to quarterly search data, we also looked at the top booked destinations, as it’s important to understand where travelers are going. Looking at the Top 10 booked destinations across all regions, long-haul destinations outside the origin region performed strongly in Q3, and there was an uptick in intra-regional destinations.  

What this means for affiliate marketers

Travelers are continuing to book a blend of long-haul and local getaways, with some destinations like London, Orlando, New York, and Paris being the most popular across multiple regions. Affiliate marketers can leverage this growing demand with content that spotlights these locales and the unique seasonal activities and experiences in the area. Promoting this content on social media with affiliate links will then allow you to reach a global audience and amplify your ability to connect with and convert qualified and interested travelers across multiple regions.  

Travelers planning for short- and long-term trips

Beyond understanding how travelers are searching and where they’re going, it’s important to look at how far in advance they start searching to inform your targeting strategy. 

Globally, Q3 searches in the 0- to 21-day window increased by more than 5% QOQ, while the 22- to 30-day search window increased by over 10% QOQ. Growth for the 0- to 21-day search window was driven by EMEA and NORAM, which each saw a 10% increase compared to the prior quarter. 

While many travelers are planning for travel in the short term, we saw signs of expanding search windows. For travelers planning further ahead, searches in the 180+ day window increased by 20% QOQ globally, driven by a 75% QOQ increase in EMEA and a 20% QOQ increase in NORAM.   

What this means for affiliate marketers

How far out travelers are planning and booking is an important factor for affiliate marketers to consider, especially in their targeting strategy. Although many travelers are currently planning for travel in the short term, we are starting to see expanding booking windows. 


Affiliate marketers should create content with messaging to engage travelers who are prioritizing short-term travel and spotlight last-minute deals or promotions, or a countdown to a major holiday or event. For example: Spring break season starts in 108 days — don’t forget to plan now.

For travelers looking further ahead, messaging around early planning and booking perks like more availability, better pricing, and increased flexibility can help inspire early-bird bookers to engage with your content. Further tailoring this content to EMEA and NORAM travelers, who are more likely than travelers from other regions to conduct advance searches, will help increase relevance. 

Events continue to drive tourism 

Last quarter, we found that major sports games and other live events were driving strong search traffic and tourism opportunities for host cities, and this trend continued in Q3. For sports events, the day before the July 25 Wrexham vs. Manchester United match in San Diego, searches for San Diego rose 20% month over month.    

The Q3 data also revealed that major concerts and music festivals are continuing to drive tourism. On June 21, when Taylor Swift’s 2024 Eras Tour schedule was announced for Asia and Australia, Swifties jumped into action. Searches for February-March 2024 were up by more than 250% YOY for the tour cities. Similarly, when the 2024 European tour dates were announced, Swifties drove up searches for May-August 2024 by almost 65%. We don’t think this is isolated and expect the tour tourism trend to continue throughout 2024.

What this means for affiliate marketers

With the strong search increases around major sports games and tours, affiliate marketers can create content campaigns around these events, highlighting information that is important to traveling fans. 

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This event marketing could include activities or accommodations near venues, transportation options and promotions, events or off-site celebrations prior to the events, and special dining packages. Comprehensive guides are a great opportunity to spotlight this information in a single resource and provide multiple opportunities for travelers to engage with your content.

The quarterly insights from Expedia Group’s first-party search data allows affiliate marketers to make data-driven decisions, create more relevant content, optimize campaigns, and drive results in a competitive landscape. Apply to our affiliate program today and access all the tools and resources you need to succeed as a travel affiliate marketer. Stay tuned for more travel industry trends. 

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