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Frommer's Travel Intention Survey: Some Highlights

Frommer’s recently commissioned a travel survey to help travel marketers better understand how to optimize their Web strategy.  The survey brought out some interesting insights for marketers of tourism and travel.

Frommers Survey sample:
1324 online travel consumers – asking what influenced their travel decisions,
inc. what determined where they go, what content they looked for when planning and booking a trip,
and what would improve their experience.

A Chicks’ Summary:

1. Needs Change depending on place in the buying cycle:
-Pre booking: images and written description of the destination important (DMO’s/Hotels – this is a key point)
-post-booking a map of the destination was the essential item of content, with travel tips,
weather, events and activities information and local dining and attractions. (Think post booking sales opportunities hotels…customers are already sold and looking for more information).

2.  Online Research most influential in making Travel decisions in 78% of survey
-Friends Recommendations next most influential factor 74% (note importance of social media as the ultimate word  of mouth)
-Travel books 54%
-newspapers 20%
-Travel agencies 4% (ouch! Consider the sample here though)

3. 85% of respondents said Price is a key factor in deciding on a travel Destination
*** 84% of survey looking for destination information during the pre-booking stage (this shows us how important the Destination marketing/VCB website is to the buying decision for a destination)

4. Good information on Destination websites (ie detailed travel guides and content) effect on decision to book:
-56% More likely to book with detailed content (stories/travel guides)
-43% No effect on booking (lower than I would have thought)

5. Important Content to Planning Cycle:
-Images:
-Info on Activities and Events
-Written descriptions of the destination
-Maps
-Weather
-Travel info (currency/border info. etc.)
-Video Content: (lower in importance – only 25% of respondants *note: Video is not considered important to research, but may act to make the website more engaging.)

7. Negative Experiences online include:
Confusing websites: 65% (make sure you are focusing on Website Usability best practices and test your site for ease of use)
Insufficient photos: 51%

**Content not bookable online only 35% felt this was a negative

Conclusions/Summary:

  • Content is still king: add good content to sites to not only inform and inspire customers but also to attract them through natural search. Content also plays an important role in the user’s experience on websites, which impacts on conversion rates and loyalty.
  • As users continue to embrace social media to connect with friends, and view friends recommendations as very influential in making travel buying decisions–  Social media will have a role to play in how friends can influence each other’s travel plans. Through Twitter’s “what are you doing?” Facebook’s status updates, Flickr’s photo sharing and beyond, it is getting increasingly easy to share experiences and thereby influence the travel plans of others.
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