Microsoft Data Shows Consumers Looking For Experiences

Consumers are looking for experiences in 2022, after two years of lockdowns and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The trend is not new -- just expanded, according to Microsoft Advertising, which cites data from 2018 showing that 74% of Americans prioritize experiences over products.

Microsoft Advertising Insights took a deep dive into how these trends may impact travel and retail advertisers, especially as the warmer weather begins.

Travel remains the most sought-after type of experience for consumers today. Microsoft Advertising Insights found that searches for Tour Operators are up 45% compared to the pre-pandemic period, and clicks are up 197% in January 2022 vs. January 2019. 



Searches for Tourist Attractions are also up 14% compared to 2019, and volumes are expected to increase for this subcategory beginning in April.

Searches and clicks for Concerts and Music Festivals are also up, with 14% of survey respondents planning to attend a local music event during their 2022 travels.

Travelers want luxury experiences in 2022. Searches for Luxury Travel rose 26% year-over-year, and are surpassing 2019 numbers by 10%. In December 2021. 

The data also shows that searches for travel insurance and travel brands’ policies are up 69% in January 2022, compared to pre-pandemic in January 2019.

With Mother’s Day approaching, marketers may want to know that Microsoft research shows that beaches, spas, and culinary-based trips trending in 2022. Wellness tourism is one subcategory that is showing consistent growth.

Top queries for wellness-centered travel experiences in early 2022 focused on couples retreats and spa getaways. Spa days are also a sought after gift, with more than 20% of mothers saying they hope to receive a spa day for Mother’s Day in 2022. These were also the second most clicked-on gift for Mother’s Day 2021.

Flowers are expected to be the most popular gift for Mother’s Day, but sweets and special meals, jewelry, spa and salon treatments are not far behind.

The top three search queries around the Mother’s Day holiday include mothers day gifts, mothers day images, and mothers day cards handmade.

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