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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : September 11, 2014


Convenience, price drive affluent travelers to use travel service providers instead of OTAs

According to a new survey by market research company MMGY Global, almost half of affluent Americans prefer to use the services of travel service providers rather than online travel agencies to book travel.

by Helen Leggatt

For their recent report, '2014 Portrait of Affluent Travelers', MMGY Global surveyed the travel habits, intentions and preferences of 1,250 active travelers with household incomes of $125,000 or more per year.

The survey found that affluent travelers, unlike all leisure travelers as a whole, prefer to use travel service providers' websites rather than online travel agencies. Half believe that travel service providers' websites provide them with the best prices as well as the greatest convenience.

That's not to say that affluent travelers don't visit online travel agencies - 60% do so in order to check prices and find information. However, just 30% actually go on to use those websites to book their travel. Instead, 25% head to travel service providers' websites to make a booking and 20% book direct with a travel service provider over the telephone.

Furthermore, affluent travelers do head online to check out ratings and reviews on online communities, blogs or travel forums. However, most (75%) prefer to read individual reviews rather than rely on a rating alone but are suspicious of 'overtly positive reviews'. Just 20% trust online reviews more than the opinions of friends and family.

"Affluent travelers are willing to spend more on enhanced travel experiences," said Steve Cohen, vice president, Insights and Research, MMGY Global. "This translates into a wonderful opportunity for travel and hospitality brands to engage - both online and in real time - with this attractive market segment. And 'better' and 'personalized' are key words to keep in mind when marketing travel services to this group."






Image via Shutterstock

Tags: affluent, consumer survey, travel agent, travel ecommerce








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