TripAdvisor characterizes the research behind this report as suggesting that "Businesses Have Critical Opportunity to Influence Consumers' Travel Purchasing Decisions on the World's Largest Travel Site" [i.e., TripAdvisor].
Accordingly, the report is heavy on TripAdvisor-specific stats like:
- TripAdvisor was accessed by 324M users in July 2017.
- 80% of TripAdvisor users took longer than 4 weeks to complete a travel purchase.
But I'm going to concentrate here on findings of more general interest.
Where people buy:
- 33% of people worldwide visit travel sites.
- 21% of "intenders" actually purchase.
- 30% of travel purchasers buy from an airline site.
- 12% buy from a hotel site.
- 43% buy from an OTA site.
- 15% buy elsewhere.
Average day of purchase, with day of first visit to a travel website being Day 1:
- OTA site: Day 89
- Hotel site: Day 97
- Airline site: Day 101
Keywords used in initial travel searches:
- Generic (e.g., "vacation packages"): 73% worldwide, 63% in the USA
- Generic + Destination (e.g., "New Zealand adventure tours"): 2%
- Travel brand: 21%
- No pre-purchase search: 5%
Travel purchasers tend to spend more time researching near the end of the process, vs. beginning or middle:
- Airline researchers: 37% near the end
- Hotel researchers: 39% (generally in the week immediately prior to purchase)
- OTA researchers: 37%
TripAdvisor says data were collected by ComScore April-September 2017 from 325+ transactional travel sites: hotels, airlines, OTAs, car rental.
The EXTERNAL ARTICLE includes an interesting breakdown of actual websites typically visited at different points in time by people who buy from airline and OTA sites.
A comment on the keyword analysis: The report is silent on conversion ratio and time-to-booking of the various types of keywords. Although only 2% of initial searches used Generic + Destination keywords, people who used that type of keyword may well have converted more quickly and at a higher rate than users of simply Generic keywords. Google is a fan of location-specificity, so don't neglect to take advantage of it in your keywords, ads and content.