Pinterest's 'Travel Personas' -- How Do Searches Add Up?

Have you traveled this year? I drove from Wyoming to California, and treated myself to a stay at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas for a night. (Bill Gates and Prince al-Waleed bin Tatal teamed up to purchase the hotel.) I didn’t stay for a vacation or a getaway, but rather to have a nice, clean hotel room to rest for the night as I drove from one state to the other. I’m not the only one who is traveling.

How people travel can tell marketers a lot about the characteristics of their existing and potential customers.

A surge in travel searches piqued someone’s interest at Pinterest, resulting in a deeper dive into the data. Pinterest created eight unique "travel personas" after observing that travel-related searches on the site rose more than 60% compared with last year.

In all fairness, when compared with 2019, travel searches on Pinterest are up about 40% since 2019. All those searches got someone at Pinterest thinking because the company segmented the types of searches into the following travel personas to help marketers better understand their key audience.



The travel personas include Digital Nomads, Bucket Listers, Culture Chasers, Memory Makers, Foodie Traveler, Weekend Traveler, Outdoor Junkies, and Rural Tourists.

I’m not sure which of the travel personas I fit into, but segmenting the searches and defining the characteristics seems to help brands like Kimpton, part of IHG Hotels & Resorts, reach consumers who are ready to travel again. That's according to Pinterest, which shared increases in searches this year, compared with travel data from 2019.

For example, consumers who fall under the category of rural tourists want to get away from crowds and seek places with space. Desirable places include Oregon, Vermont and Wyoming. These travelers are looking for small towns with cozy characteristics and quaint shopping streets.

Rural tourists search a lot for places to visit. Pinterest sees these increases: 

  • 80% increase in searches for topics related to rural travel this year vs. 2019  
  • 85% increase in searches related to the countryside this year vs. 2019  
  • 75% increase in searches related to lake houses this year vs. 2019

Outdoor junkies crave the outdoors. This traveler segment saw massive growth during COVID-19, driving interest for outdoor adventures all over the world. Think places like Montana, Lake Tahoe, and Tanzania.

  • 150% increase in searches related to National Parks this year vs. 2019
  • 30% increase in searches related to hiking this year vs. 2019
  • 65% increase in searches related to surfing this year vs. 2019   

Digital Nomads are the new road warrior, according to the data. They’re flexible in travel dates and interested in places like Puerto Rico and Hawaii. Pinterest sees:

  • 50% increase in searches for topics related to digital nomadism this year vs. 2019
  • 1.6 times increase in searches related to nomad trailers and campers this year vs. 2019
  • 1.8 times increase in searches for starting a small business among this audience this year vs. 2019
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