More than 51 percent of travelers say great deals and discounts are what prompts them to make a travel booking, according to new research by the CMO Council’s GeoBranding Center and AIG Travel. The report, “What’s Changing the Way You Travel Today,” delves into the way in which beliefs, values and interest, as well as new technology and service innovations, are changing the travel landscape.
The research, centered around a survey of more than 2,000 leisure travelers by Pollfish this summer, yielded some notable statistics. Nearly half of those polled say the Internet and device connectivity makes travel better. A further 42 percent believe technology innovations and advancements across all modes of travel have improved the experience, and 38 percent say these tech advancements have helped them find deals, discounts and destinations more easily.
More than 51 percent of travelers surveyed say great deals and discounts are what prompts them to make a travel booking. Easier, do-it-yourself travel planning is also a major factor for 32 percent of travelers. Other influences are referrals from family and friends (29 percent), exciting images or video (21 percent), and interesting stories or articles (21 percent).
When asked to identify the top travel planning innovations and developments in recent years, 49 percent of those surveyed pointed to online travel booking sites and booking assurances, including insurance coverage. An equal percent highlighted deal or discount availability. Other marketing strategies and inducements that also rated highly by respondents included:
- Loyalty programs with upgrades, privileges, and travel benefits (34 percent)
- New ways to discover, source and receive personalized travel deals (33 percent)
- Promotional incentives and options (28 percent)
Factors most influencing travel choices tended to be more about passions, self-interests and destination appeal, rather than travel issues or concerns:
- Special interests, hobbies and diversions (43 percent)
- Security, stability and friendliness of destination (36 percent)
- Adventure, recreation or sports pursuits (30 percent)
- Culture and history of the local people (29 percent)
- Destination geography and diversity (29 percent)
Surprisingly, only 15 percent relied on their social media networks to help shape their travel choices, and just eight percent pointed to political ethics, human rights practices or prejudices in travel locales as a consideration when choosing travel destinations.
When asked to characterize the type of traveler they were, most respondents selected more informed, relaxed and deal-seeking to best describe their approach to travel. Most prevalent travel types included:
- Smart, well-informed planner (31 percent)
- Relaxed nomad – easygoing and flexible (25 percent)
- Deal seeker on a budget (22 percent)
Less common were those that felt nervous, stressed and anxious when traveling (13 percent) and fewer yet thought they were thrill-seeking and adventure-bound (5 percent). Topping the list of reasons why survey participants did not travel more frequently were:
- Too many distractions or obligations in my life (19 percent)
- Don’t like crowds or discomforts of travel (17 percent)
- Lack time and a compelling reason (14 percent)
- Too much anxiety, stress and danger (10 percent)
- Hassles and headaches of travel (8 percent)
- Difficulty and complexity of planning for travel (7 percent)
The research was conducted in Q3 of 2018 and highlights the results of a survey fielded to 2,000 adults in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.