As European travel companies advance from recession into recovery, it is critical for them to stay attuned to the trends shaping consumer sentiment and decision-making, says travel industry research authority PhoCusWright in its new analysis of the European travel market. Among many questions probed by PhoCusWright on the state of European consumer travel are how confident consumers are about the upcoming year and what trends are common across European markets.
PhoCusWright’s study, "Shared Borders, Separate Perspectives: Top Trends in European Consumer Travel," presents an overview of the status of consumer travel in three individual markets—the UK, France and Germany—and provides insights into key trends and indicators shaping each market's outlook for the coming year.
Launched with a one-hour online event, the in-depth report unveils and explores the major forces influencing European consumer travel, examining both behavir and attitude in trends.
PhoCusWright’s report highlights include:
* Relief on the way. French travelers show a strong ratio of consumers who plan to travel more versus travel less. The German outlook is also positive, though more moderate. UK travelers, in contrast, show a very slight growth trajectory for the upcoming year.
* Who does not plan travel online these days? Among those with Internet access, just 6 percent of French travelers, 9 percent of German travelers and 5 percent of UKtravelers plan and book their trips completely offline.
* Search is how travel companies get found. When shopping for leisure travel, the majority of French, German and UKtravelers typically use general search engines, which rank first among website categories.
* Think price is the biggest motivator? Think again. Even in today's price sensitive environment, travelers most commonly cited prior positive experience as a reason to visit a website—38 percent in France, 50 percent in Germany and 51 percent in the UK.
* Hotels are not everyone's favorite part of the holiday. Only 38 percent of French travelers enjoy staying in hotels, compared to 72 percent of German travelers and 82 percent of U.K. travelers.
* Smartphone adoption reaches critical mass. Over a third of travelers now carry mobile phones with web browsing capabilities—38 percent in France, 37 percent in Germany and 47 percent in the UK.
* Mobile travel is small, but growing fast. Fewer than 10 percent of travelers have performed travel-related activities on their mobile phone in the past year. Yet intentions show that the mobile travel audience will likely double in the next 12 months.
PhoCusWright's Online Event, Shared Borders, Separate Perspectives: Top Trends in European Consumer Travel, was presented by Carroll Rheem, PhoCusWright's director, research, and moderated by Florence Kaci, director, EMEA sales.
While certain trends are consistent among travelers across European markets, many are not, PhoCusWright said. Understanding the similarities and differences is critical for building brands in these distinct markets. PhoCusWright's European Consumer Travel Report provides travel companies with a robust picture of European travelers' behavior, attitudes and expectations, so they can best position themselves in Europe's fiercely competitive travel marketplaces.