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How digital technologies are changing the way consumers plan and buy travel

31 July 2019 (Edited 31 July 2019)

57% of US travelers said brands should tailor the information served to them on the basis of their personal preferences or past behaviors

Results of research done by Google and Phocuswright into how consumers are planning and buying travel today show that the availability of digital technologies for search and advertising is causing major shifts in shopping behavior.

Travelers will buy on impulse

More than 60% of US travelers surveyed said they would consider taking a trip on impulse if offered a good airfare or hotel deal. And travel-related mobile searches on queries containing "today" or "tonight" have increased by 150% over the past 2 years. If because of threatening weather, worrisome news, or anything else that's about to let your very perishable inventory go unsold, put a great deal online and promote it location-specifically! (Think Google Ads and Google My Business.)

Travelers want personalized information

57% of US travelers said brands should tailor the information served to them on the basis of their personal preferences or past behaviors. And 36% said they would be willing to pay more for a trip that's a good fit for them personally. Repeat customers - about whom you should already know much re personal preferences and behaviors - are an obvious target. And machine learning and artificial intelligence enable you to run automated marketing campaigns that self-adjust on the basis of consumer intent inferred from past history and present context. If you're seeking international business, note that Google Translate now runs on an artificial-intelligence-based system.

Travelers want to use digital assistants to buy travel

Across source markets, more than 1 in 3 travelers surveyed said they're interested in using a digital assistant to research and book travel products: in-destination activities as well as flights and hotels. And Google says that 70% of requests made to Google Assistant are natural-language voice searches. (That's an excellent reason to make sure your website and ads are using the same language as consumers are using to look for stuff like yours! For more on this, see the Related Listings linked from below.)

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