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The online path to purchase: How modern-day travellers are planning their holidays

Research reveals there are many opportunities to connect & engage with travellers before they make their decision to book

Research from Expedia Group has provided new insight into how and where travellers plan and book travel and it revealed travellers spend 303 minutes or over five hours on average engaging with travel content in the 45 days prior to booking.

The research, conducted by Expedia Group and Luth Research, sheds light on the growing impact of social media and advertising influence, the top online resources, and the new online path to purchase.

On average, travellers view 141 pages of travel content in the 45 days prior to booking a trip, and as high as 277 pages for travellers in the U.S.

While in the early planning stages, research is more spread out (about 2.5 page views per day), it increases exponentially in the few days prior to a booking, culminating in an average of 25 page views on the day of purchase.

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When it came to what resources travellers used to plan their trip, OTAs still reign supreme with 80 percent of travellers utilising OTAs above search engines (61 percent), airline websites (54 percent) and meta travel websites (51 percent).

Further cementing the role of OTAs, four in five travellers surveyed visited an OTA at some point before making a travel purchase, indicating that travellers likely visited an OTA for inspiration, research, or planning purposes, even if they eventually booked through another website.

Significant numbers also said that they are influenced by what they consume on social media. Of those that use social media in the path to purchase, 77 percent cited using it for inspiration.

Expedia for Business SVP and CMO Cheryl Miller said the research highlighted the time and thought that travellers invest when booking a holiday.

“The traveller path to purchase is often complex, and full of twists and turns,” Ms Miller said.

“This research highlights just how much thought and consideration travellers put into planning a trip in the weeks leading up to booking, as they seek to niche and refine their choices.

“This means there are many opportunities to connect with travellers before they make their decisions, underlining the importance of partnership, given that it’s essential to show up across multiple touchpoints and beyond your owned brand channels, as frequently as possible along this path.

“By providing actionable insights to help reach, inspire, and engage travellers during their path to purchase, we’re pleased to provide B2B travel partners with the tools required to convert their guests and customers.”

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