Hitwise confirms resurgence of Greece and Spain

The latest quarterly Experian Hitwise data has confirmed a resurgence for traditional summer holiday hotspots Greece and Spain.

Figures for January to April in the UK Travel Quarterly Review show the two countries have six of the fastest-moving destinations between them.

The figures cover the period of political unrest in the previously high-flying Egypt and confirm a slowdown for Turkey, the industry’s star performer in recent years.

The report also confirms feedback from tour operators that APD and exchange rates have hit Australia, which saw a 33% decline in flight searches.

The US is faring well, however, with New York the most searched-for destination. ‘Flights to New York’ emerged as the most popular flight-related search term for the first time.

Reflecting the continuing poor economic conditions, Ryanair turned around a decline in the last quarter to become the fastest-moving carrier. Overall, commercial airlines saw a 30% year-on-year decline in UK internet visits, reflecting drops across the board in travel categories.

Travel agencies were down 6.7%, cruise down 7.2% and car hire down 20.2%. Only destinations and accommodation showed a year-on-year increase, with a 1.22% rise.

All categories also saw quarter-on-quarter declines with the exception of cruise, which was up 3.1% on the final quarter of 2010.

In the cruise category search engines and social networks significantly increased the amount of traffic they drove, accounting for 46% of all visits.

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