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How global consumers are buying travel online in 2020
28 February 2020
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For max bookings, have your marketing on 24/7/365.

New research by Bain for Google provides some insights into how consumers around the world are researching, planning and booking travel online.

Some interesting numbers:

The average traveler spends 13% of online time conducting travel-related activities.

Factors that people say inspire them to book trips:

  • They're regularly thinking about trips they want to take (17%)
  • Have wanted to take a trip to a particular destination for some time (16%)
  • Believe they're due a vacation (16%)
  • Want to visit a friend or relative (8%)
  • To celebrate a special event (7%)
  • Saw a special offer or discount for travel to a destination (7%)

Reasons people say they didn't book a trip online when they intended to:

  • Trip didn't meet their needs (47%)
  • Price too high (26%)


Takeaways for travel suppliers:

  • For those people regularly thinking about taking a trip somewhere, or having pent-up demand for a visit to your destination: have your marketing on 24/7/365.
  • For people who believe they're due a vacation: encourage them in this as McDonald's did: "You deserve a break today!"
  • For destinations with a significant diaspora (think Ireland, India, State of Maine): geotarget the places where these people are with ads inviting them to Come Home.
  • For people wanting to celebrate a special event: be mindful of when people do this (weddings in June, shopping in December, Lunar New Year, etc.) and promote whatever connection you have to these dates or occasions.
  • For bargain-hunters: don't routinely discount just to undersell competitors, but remember that travel products (airline seats, hotel rooms, event tickets) are absolutely perishable. Take a cue from cruise lines and as drop-dead date approaches, start reducing prices until sold out, or at least until you have the sales you need to remain profitable.
  • To avoid prospects failing to book after researching your product that they wanted to buy: make sure all your material from ads through landing pages to booking engine is consistent in describing the product: benefits, features, price.
  • For people who want to re-research their trip, or who may cancel and re-book, stay close with support and hand-holding to avoid or undo buyer's remorse.

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David Boggs MS    - David
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