People are Googling like there's a summer travel boom coming

·Anchor, Editor-at-Large
·2 min read

The beaches could be packed with oiled-up bodies sipping on White Claws this summer if Alphabet's latest earnings call was any indication.

On its earnings call late Tuesday, Alphabet noted that query growth on Google for categories like beaches and islands surged 27% in the first quarter compared to 2019 (aka, pre-pandemic) while vacation rental queries spiked 37%. Global searches for passports online also jumped 80% and inquiries for travel insurance doubled.

To be sure, Google's data jibes with anecdotes elsewhere on this summer being a boon to the travel industry as people venture back out after the pandemic.

Nataliya Nomada practices pole acrobatics on the beach in Miami Beach, Florida on April 26, 2022. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)
Nataliya Nomada practices pole acrobatics on the beach in Miami Beach, Florida on April 26, 2022. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Shares of hotel giants Marriott and Hilton are trading near record highs. Major airlines such as Delta and United Airlines struck upbeat tones on their second quarter financial outlooks this month.

Meanwhile, the World Travel & Tourism Council said recently the U.S. travel and tourism industry could reach $2 trillion in U.S. GDP contribution this year. If achieved, that would surpass pre-pandemic levels by 6.2%.

Google's upbeat travel data generally went overlooked amid a mixed quarter at best for the tech giant.

Here is how Alphabet performed compared to Wall Street estimates:

  • Revenue, excluding traffic-acquisition costs: $56.02 billion vs. $56.07 billion expected

  • Earnings per share: $24.62 vs. $25.71 expected

Shares of Alphabet fell 2% in pre-market trading as investors locked in the company's rare earnings miss, rather than hopeful travel data. The Street also voiced concern about YouTube sales missing estimates for the third straight quarter.

"The list of headwinds seems longer than before," Jefferies tech analyst Brent Thill said.

Thill lowered his 2022 estimates on sales, operating margins, and earnings in the wake of the mixed quarter. He also cut his twelve-month price target to $3,400 from $3,600 but maintained a buy rating.

On that note, cheers to some surf, sun and sand this summer. Our Googling suggests we need it.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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