Right off the bat, we can see a jump in Google searches for ‘virtual travel’ a few months into 2020. Monthly searches for the term more than doubled from 8,981 searches per month (SPM) in February 2020 to 21,298 in March 2020.
Volume for ‘virtual travel’ climbed to a staggering 25,661 in April 2020; nearly triple that of February’s count and the peak of search interest in those six months of 2020. Furthermore, from March 2020 through to June 2020, monthly searches for ‘virtual travel’ remained at least double that of the search volumes in the same months in 2019.
Why did searches increase?
It’s not altogether surprising why searches jumped in March 2020. That month saw many countries implement stay-at-home advice and restrictions, and by the end of March, most of the world was under some form of stay-at-home order (whether advised or required).2
Likewise, by 31 March 2020, most countries had total border closures or bans on travellers from high-risk regions.3
By the end of April 2020 (the month during which SPM for ‘virtual travel’ reached their highest), many countries around the world required their people to stay at home except for essential purposes,2 and several more had enacted total border closures.3
With so many people around the world stuck at home with no opportunity for travel, it’s no wonder there was such a massive jump in search volumes!
Points of interest for ‘virtual travel’