New Study Looks Into the British Traveler's Path To Purchase

Noah Tratt, Global Senior Vice President
June 28, 2016


Why would a traveler research hotels and flights to Hong Kong, but end up booking a trip to New York City? How much time does a traveler spend researching before deciding on a destination or booking a trip? Where do travelers seek inspiration?

A new study, “The British Traveler’s Path to Purchase” that we commissioned with comScore, provides an inside look into what inspires and influences consumers in the UK as they plan travel during the 45 days leading up to an online purchase. The study blended online travel behavioral data with data collected through a custom survey from January 2015 to February 2016.

The study shows that British travelers are avid researchers – they spent 2.4 billion minutes engaging with travel content and visited travel sites more than 121 times during the path to purchase. To reach, engage and influence these consumers, marketers need to have an in-depth understanding of what this booking path looks like across devices, travel categories and stages of the purchase journey.

Here are a few highlights on British travelers from the study. 

  • How consumers in the UK tend to approach travel planning
    • British travelers are interested in more than a long weekend – nearly 60 percent book trips lasting one to two weeks in duration
    • More than half (54 percent) start travel planning with multiple destinations in mind, and are open to options
    • They are not going alone – 88 percent are traveling with a companion, mostly with a spouse or significant other
  • How they are consuming travel content
    • Consumption on mobile is outpacing desktop – though in general, people are moving more fluidly across devices
    • Nearly half of users engaged with travel content on multiple devices, compared to 28 percent of mobile-only users and 21 percent of desktop-only users
    • Browsers are still the primary way mobile travel information is accessed across devices (64 percent) – especially tablets (92 percent)
  • What can influence these travelers
    • OTAs and search engines were the most common initial online resources (both 12 percent) when deciding on a destination, while recommendations from family and friends were the most common offline resource (15 percent)
    • Nearly a third of travellers who were considering multiple destinations were influenced by advertising, and OTAs were the most influential online resource in bookers’ destination decisions
    • Travelers with a propensity to book travel are five times more likely to see travel advertising than non-bookers and nearly a third of travelers who were considering multiple destinations were influenced by advertising

The travel advertising marketplace is full of opportunity and the key to success lies in understanding what a target audience is looking for, where they seek inspiration and what influences them to book. For more findings and insights, download the full study here.

Originally published by Skift on June 28, 2016

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Noah Tratt
Global Senior Vice President
As global senior vice president of Expedia Media Solutions, Noah Tratt oversees all facets of the business including product development and execution, engineering, operations, media sales and business development for the Expedia, Inc. brands. Noah has overseen thousands of digital marketing partner initiatives and has significantly grown the Expedia Media Solutions business over the past several years. With more than two decades of marketing and sales experience, Noah has worked at Microsoft and Xylo, and launched Daily Rocket, a tech startup acquired by Fiserv. He joined Expedia, Inc. in 2002 to lead the car rental business, and later served as vice president of supplier strategy for Expedia Corporate Travel. Noah currently is an officer of the U.S. Travel Association, serving as secretary, and is also a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Digital and Social Media Marketing. He has been recognized as one of HSMAI’s Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing, and was inducted into the ClickZ Digital Marketing Hall of Fame. Noah is a graduate of Brown University, and lives with his family in Seattle.
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