More than 4.4 million online searches were carried out using holiday-related keywords in January, up 42% from 3.1 million in November 2011.
Searches for holidays to short-haul destinations – largely within Europe – totalled 570,000 in the peak booking month, according to a new study by digital marketing firm Greenlight.
Thomson maintained its lead as the most visible site in natural search by consumers, achieving a 79% share of visibility, up by 15% over November.
Virgin Holidays maintained its lead as the most visible site for long-haul holidays, increasing its share of visibility from 53% in November to 59% in January.
While searches for holidays within Europe remained the most popular – accounting for 39% of online holiday-related queries – actual search volumes were down on November’s levels.
This was the same for searches to Africa, which had been well ahead of North America in November.
North America made the highest gains with search volumes totalling 305,948 in January against 186,740 in November.
This saw the region’s share of holiday-related queries rise from 15% to 21% in January.
The Caribbean & South America, Far East & Australasia and the Middle East & South Asia also made good gains, according to the study.
“However, with news reports that the Air Passenger Duty rise will add about £250 to the cost for a family of four flying to Florida and around £360 more to the cost for a four-person family flight to Australia, it remains to be seen if UK consumer online searches for holidays to the currently popular geographic zones might be impacted,” Greenlight said.