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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : May 30, 2014

Holiday planning starts online with search

It's not just travel deals that need to be in tip top condition as the holiday season approaches. Marketers need to ensure their digital offerings are up to scratch, too, as most U.S. travelers head online to plan their vacations.

by Helen Leggatt

New research from rewards-based incentives firm parago reveals that 85% of 1,200 U.S. travelers surveyed log on to research destinations, accommodation and transport for their annual holiday.

And, found parago, there are a lot of potential travelers out there - 90% of those surveyed said they take one or more personal trips each year and, of those, more than half (57%) start their trip planning by using search engines. In comparison, just 13% say they begin travel planning by visiting travel websites and a meager 2% go through a travel agent.

Furthermore, more than three-quarters (79%) say they rarely, if ever, purchase a package deal (airline and hotel) and just 6% said they purchase accommodation bundles.

So, which travel booking incentives work? For air travelers, a free checked bag was more motivating than rewards for future flights. Pre-paid cards influenced bookers of cruises, resorts and hotels. A best-price match delivered by rebate motivated 42% of travelers to book quicker.

According to Theresa Wabler, VP of Global Marketing at parago, "consumers at all income levels are hungry for travel deals, especially online. Not surprisingly, these consumers would travel more if able to find good bargains. To build loyalty with the frugal and savvy American traveler, companies would be wise to pair discounts with additional offers for more travel".

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: incentives, research, travel ecommerce, travel research, U.S., vacation

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