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According to SEMrush data, Google search volumes for the major global airlines fell significantly between January and March 2020 as the outbreak spread and flights were grounded. Branded searches within the overall industry average declined 16.2% from January to February, followed by an additional decrease of 6.7% between February and March. The worst-hit overall were China Southern (-78.4%), Bangkok Airways (-72.4%) and China Eastern (-67%), however Canadian airlines were also significantly affected.
Sunwing took the greatest hit between January and March with 52.9% fewer searches, followed by Swoop Airlines with a 49.85% decrease.
Growth (January – March 2020)
While their revenues and stock prices may be down, traffic and search data for airlines do not correlate with financial data because millions of people spent hours on airline websites and hotlines changing their travel plans.
During February and March, airlines have been active on social media to relay updates on repatriation and policies. We conducted a Twitter sentiment analysis to see the public’s wider reaction to each global airline. Whether due to strategic communications executed by each airline, or simply Canadian politeness, every single airline generated more positive than negative tweets about their brand.
Swoop had the highest amount of tweets that used a negative tone (40%). Meanwhile, Sunwing saw the largest amount of tweets using positive language to describe the airline (63%), followed by Porter Airlines (51) and Air Canada and Air Transat (both 49% positive).
Another industry that took a major blow due to the current climate was the Events industry. Conferences, music festivals, marathons, and the world’s biggest sporting events were shut down or postponed to a later date.
SEMrush’s social media analysis identified which events and cancellations sparked major online debate and caused disappointment on Twitter globally. Dominating the discussions were sporting events; the next most talked about industry was music festivals.
According to the research, Ultra Music Festival, SXSW, Coachella, and Formula 1, are all key events in 2020 that have resonated the most with online audiences. Both Ultra and SXSW are being vague about offering refunds to their attendees, which is causing topical debate online for music fans. It’s clear the discussion is a hot topic trending on social media as more than 2,000 tweets utilized the money emoji 💵in association with Ultra.
Amongst other top used emojis, we saw the crying face emoji 😭to most likely express disappointment due to cancellations and date changes.
Similarly, branded Google search volumes for major global hotels fell by an average of 6.9% between January and February, falling another 26.76% from February to March. The worst-hit were Raffles and Ritz Carlton Hotel (both -77.2%), followed by Aman Resorts (-66.1%), Intercontinental Hotels (56.25%) and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (-49.15%).
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