Travellers rely on social/video/photo sites and search engines for trip inspiration. Search engines and YouTube are top online sources of inspiration.
Digital is the primary source of travel inspiration: 65% of leisure travellers are inspired by online sources, most notably through social/video sites and search, while 42% of travellers are inspired to travel by YouTube content.
Digital is key. The path to purchase is still complex, and traveller search activity is increasing. The internet is the top source for both leisure and business travel planning.
At the onset of planning, travellers increasingly turn to search first: The most notable year-on-year increases in travellers starting with search were exhibited with car rentals and accommodations. Travellers use a variety of search terms (both branded and nonbranded) throughout the research process.
The research phase is a clear branding opportunity for marketers: A majority of leisure and business bookers consider multiple brands when researching (regardless of category).
Travellers extend their activities from desktops and tablets to smartphones across all stages. Smartphones are used throughout the travel process and early actions on mobile influence the booking decision. A poor mobile experience forces travellers to move elsewhere … and has a negative impact on brand.
Mobile is critical at all stages and influences booking decisions: Smartphones are used throughout the travel process, including for inspiration during “snackable moments.” Nearly half of those who use their smartphone for leisure travel inspiration ultimately book through another method/device. Only 23% of those who encounter a non-mobile-optimized site actually push through to complete their activity.
TV & VIDEO
Travellers are watching in more ways than ever before, and attention continues to fragment. Travellers engage heavily with online video and watch more than just travel content.
TV viewing habits continue to fragment, and video is key for inspiration and planning: One in three travellers (38%) watch television outside of live programming; when given the option, most fast-forward through commercials. Conversely, 66% of travellers watch online travel videos when they’re thinking about taking a trip, and 65% watch when they’re choosing a destination.
Children’s preferences influence decision making. A majority of families take at least two trips together per year. Online sources play a critical role in family travel planning.
Family trip planners are up for grabs: Half of travellers are not set on a destination at the onset of planning. 45% plan to travel more with family in the coming year and often take children’s preferences into account.
Read the full article from Google: Google Travellers Research Study