Consumer shopping sessions on agency websites were, unsurprisingly, down in the first half of 2020, according to agency technology company Passport Online.

Unique consumer shopping sessions dropped 25%, to just over 15 million, compared with the first half of 2019, said Passport Online, which collected the data from the thousands of agency websites it powers. 

However, the click-through rate to specific travel offers increased from 11% in the first half of 2019 to just under 14% in the first half of 2020, Passport Online said.

Mexico and the Bahamas continue to top consumers' searches, but in the first half of the year there was a slight bump to U.S. travel and river cruising. Passport Online said the interest in river cruising was further evidenced by spikes in searches for destinations like Vienna and Budapest, popular river cruising stops.

There was a "significant dip" in the number of consumer searches for ocean cruising, according to Passport Online.

In addition to powering websites, Passport Online also offers advisors social media solutions. In the first half of the year, one of its most viewed posts was a river cruise sale with a $1,400-per-couple discount for 2021 sailings.

The most-liked post in the first half of the year was a New Year's Day post asking travelers to share their top picks of destinations to explore in 2020. While the post's content now seems dated, Passport Online pointed to it as a successful example of the types of posts that ask consumers to share and thereby increase engagement.


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