For travel and hospitality brands, providing superb experiences starts long before their customers’ trips ever begin.
No surprise, consumers are relying more and more on digital channels and platforms for all of their travel needs, from researching to booking. The following stats show just how much of a role digital plays in both the lives of travellers and the companies that service them.
1. New analysis of 321 million social engagements by Adobe Digital Insights (ADI) has found at least eight of the largest hotels have tested some kind of virtual reality (VR) experience during the past six months. Most of these experiences were programmes that paired VR devices with consumers’ mobile devices.
2. ADI found that social mentions for travel and AR/VR-related experiences have increased 13% year over year (YoY). Social mentions about travel-related wearables also increased (44% YoY), with considerable buzz coming from the upcoming Princess Cruises Ocean Medallion launch.
3. ADI forecasts online revenue growth for the travel industry this summer, with spend expected to hit $98.02 billion. The major travel holidays will be Independence Day ($3.68 billion), Memorial Day weekend ($2.93 billion) and Labour Day weekend ($2.83 billion).
4. HuffPost reports that over 95% of leisure travellers read at least seven reviews before booking their holidays.
5. In the U.S., 43% of business trips are “bleisure,” according to Expedia Media Solutions--people extending their business trips to have some personal experiences in that location.
6. According to a study by American Express, 83% of Millennials said they would let travel brands track their digital patterns if this would provide them with a more personalised experience. In addition, 85% of respondents of all ages thought that customised itineraries were much more desirable than general, mass-market offerings.
7. Nielsen research found that travellers spent an average of 53 days visiting 28 different websites over a period of 76 online sessions, with more than 50% of travellers checking social media for travel tips. Over the next 10 years, travel industry experts predict that the digital travel space worldwide will expand at an annual rate of 3.8% to reach $11.4 trillion.
8. Today, 60% of leisure and 41% of business travellers are making travel arrangements via the Internet, according to research from Smart Insights.
9. Mobile’s share of total digital ad spending in the travel industry (49% vs 51% for desktop ads) is creeping ever higher and in the future will represent a majority of the industry’s ad spending.
10. Expedia also found that consumption of digital travel content is on the rise with a growth rate of 44% in the UK, 41% in the U.S. and 18% in Canada. Travel content is also widely consumed in each country by 75% of digital users in the UK, 70% in Canada and 60% in the U.S.
11. Thirty-eight per cent of travel bookers in Canada and the U.S. and 30% of travel bookers in the UK were influenced by advertising when considering more than one destination.
12. Emarketer predicts hoteliers will increase their 2017 budgets for digital marketing and social media strategy in a bid to grow consumer awareness and attract more guests.
13. Airbnb ranked as the most visited accommodation website in Q4 2016, receiving nearly 88 million visits, up 42% from Q4 2015. Priceline Group’s Booking.com came in second, with more than 82 million visits and a 24% growth rate, while Expedia-owned Hotels.com was fourth, with more than 65 million visits, up 25% YoY.
14. Ninety-five per cent of consumers read reviews before booking, according to Tnooz.
15. More than 148.3 million people use the Internet to make bookings for their accommodations, tours and activities. That’s more than 57% of all travel bookings each year.