Sojern’s Q3 2016 Global Travel Insights Report Shows Shift in Preferred Departure Days

SAN FRANCISCO, Ca., October 20, 2016Sojern, the world’s leading performance marketing engine for more than a thousand travel brands, today released its Q3 Global Travel Insights report based on the rigorous analysis of over 1 billion travel intent data points across the globe. Sojern’s latest report takes a deep dive into Q3 and Q4 travel planning patterns in order to understand how travel is taking shape for the end of 2016 and provides valuable insights for marketers on how to take advantage of these patterns to convert more travelers.

Preferred Departure Days Shift from Q3 to Q4

In Q3 the most popular day searched for short-haul departures by European travelers was Friday, with 25% of traveler interest. In Q4 we’re seeing a sizable shift: 25% of short-haul travelers are looking to leave on Saturday, compared with only 9% last quarter. In fact, weekend departures account for nearly 60% of all searched departures in Q4.

North American travelers also show a shift in departure dates from Q3 to Q4: Wednesday departures for Q4 are at 14%, but were only at 12% in Q3, a bump that we could attribute to travelers looking to fly out for Thanksgiving in November.

December’s Biggest Departure Days

Winter travel peaks around the world in December due, in large part, to holidays celebrated within the month, including Christmas, Hanukkah and New Years. As a result, airports, railways, and roads are packed with people heading home or trying to get away. Globally, the most popular days that travelers have searched to fly, so far, are December 23 and 22—both days appear on the top departure dates for nearly every region.

While, globally, the biggest departure dates are later in the month, every region shows a different preference for departures, including:

  • The busiest days for departures in the US are December 23, 22, and 26.
  • Mexicans are some of the earliest travelers, looking to leave on December 9 and 8.
  • The Middle East and Africa also have earlier departure dates: December 15, 22 and 16.
  • Singapore has one of the earliest departure dates: December 23, 1, and 16. This differs dramatically from Japanese travelers looking to travel on December 29, 28, 30.
  • European travelers are looking to depart close to Christmas: December 23, 26, and 22.

Beach Destinations Dominate Globally

For much of the Northern hemisphere, December brings low temperatures and little sunlight. For that reason, many around the globe look for beach getaways, including:

  • The top December destination for North Americans in both 2015 and 2016 is Miami. In fact, six of the top 10 destinations for 2016 are all known for their beautiful beaches.
  • European families are looking for warm weather in Bangkok—it’s a top destination for families in France, Germany, UK and Netherlands.
  • Travelers from Mexico City and Tijuana are searching for domestic beach destinations in December.

Europe: Early Risers Get the Ticket

European families are already beginning their long-haul searches for December. So far, Bangkok is the top destination across families in France, Germany, the UK, and Netherlands. In addition to this similarity, each country also shows a strong preference for travel to a former territory. In France for example, six of the top 10 destinations searched for by French families are former territories, including: Dakar, Montreal, Plaisance, and For-de-France.

December Travel in Asia Pacific: Departure Dates and Destinations Vary Greatly

Within Asia-Pacific, Sojern found a good deal of variety in December travel. Japanese travelers, for instance, are looking to leave later in the month: December 29, 28, and 30 are the most popular days searched for departures. Compare that to Singapore’s most popular dates: December 23, 1, 16. Australia rests roughly in the middle, looking for departures on December 23, 17, and 16.

Beyond departures, differences also arise in destinations for each Asia-Pacific country. Australia’s top destinations include London, Singapore and Denpasar. Japanese travelers are looking to spend December in Bangkok, Taipei and Hong Kong. Singaporeans are looking for travel to Taipei, Manila, and Hong Kong.

About Sojern

Sojern is travel’s leading data-driven performance marketing engine. Through its Sojern Traveler Platform and billions of traveler intent signals across online and mobile channels, Sojern puts more heads in beds and travelers in towns for its clients worldwide. Currently one of the fastest growing travel tech companies, Sojern works with top travel brands and independent hotels in North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East & Africa and Asia-Pacific. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, with key offices in Dubai, London, New York, Omaha and Singapore. For more information, please visit

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