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How global consumers are buying travel online in 2020

How global consumers are buying travel online in 2020
28 February 2020

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.

And if you have questions or comments, you can easily send them to me with the Quick Reply form, below, or send me an e-mail.

David Boggs MS    - David
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