Passport Online Reports Spike in Online Activity in March 2020

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Passport Online Inc. analyzed its travel agency data across consumer-facing websites, social media channels and booking technology for March—and it has found some encouraging news.

Consumer shopping sessions totaled almost 3.2 million and click-through rates to supplier offers spiked to 16 percent (in comparison to 2019, Passport-powered sites had an average click-through rate of 11.6 percent). March also saw a 12 percent bump in destination impressions on Passport-powered sites over February and a higher click-through rate, showing that Passport’s travel agency customers are shopping supplier offers and planning for future travel.

In the last two weeks of March, following the ceasing of travel opportunities for consumers, Facebook activity for travel agency business Facebook pages spiked. The most active posts of the month were all in the last two weeks, between March 15 and March 31. More than a dozen unique posts shared on agency Facebook pages had more than 35,000 organic views, the most viewed of which was sent on March 30 and had more than 125,000 views. This post also had the most comments with 3,039 and the most clicks with 4,522. The most shared post was sent on March 21. It had 522 shares and 3,141 likes. According to Passport Online Inc., consumers are clearly more engaged on social media now and are seeking hopeful messaging, suggesting that now is the perfect time to be active on social media channels and provide consumers an avenue to explore their future travel dreams.

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“Consumers were on their agency’s websites searching travel options for the future. And, they were liking, commenting and sharing their agency’s Facebook posts,” said Jeanne Colombo, VP, strategic partnerships, Passport Online. “If there is a bright light in the current darkness for our industry, it is that our travel agency customers have developed strong digital relationships with their consumers.”

Passport also has data in the B2B booking space, with hundreds of travel agencies using its Tandem online cruise/tour/day trips booking tool. As expected, bookings came to a halt for April and May, but bookings continue to be steady and 80 percent of bookings made since the pandemic hit include both rebookings for cancelled sailings and brand-new bookings for sailings, in the next nine months. 

Passport Online is used by more than 7,500 travel agencies and over 35,000 advisors. Passport’s analysis of social media engagement for its ESP Facebook Posting service customers shows steady growth and engagement. ESP powers more than 1,600 travel agency Facebook business pages with nearly 2 million followers.

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