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The State of Travel Marketing

THE STATE OF TRAVEL MARKETING 2015 Last year, over 1.1 billion tourists travelled abroad and this number is expected to grow by 3-4% in 2015. But despite swelling numbers, travel marketers still have various obstacles to overcome when promoting particular destinations or package deals. So, what is the State of Travel Marketing in 2015? GLOBAL TRAVEL SPENDING From all-inclusive breaks to fortnight getaways at luxurious resorts, holidays can be cheap and cheerful or extremely expensive. But what do travel spend trends mean for marketers? Are we planning to spend more or less money this year and where are we going? HOLIDA International tourism Ching was also the receipts, which include things like transport, accommodation, food, The biggest earners from tourism were the United States ($177bn), Spain ($65bn), and China ($57bn). world's top spender on tourism, paying out $165bn. United States placed second, while Germany was third. and drink, reached $1.5 trillion in 2014. Two in five travellers will One-quarter of global travellers won't change their vacation budget for 2015 compared with One in four travellers will spend less, with 75% giving financial reasons. spend more, for reasons including their family deserve it and they are last year. going somewhere on their wish list. 2.1 78% of people plan to However, 90% are planning a domestic leisure break, with a mean average of 3.1 trips in 2015. The mean number of trips take an international planned for 2015 is 2.1 per leisure trip in 2015. person. TRAVELLER BEHAVIOUR So, once travellers have identified a destination and established a budget, where do they go to make a booking? How and when do they conduct research and who is influencing this behaviour? The top travel website was booking.com, with a 5.67% industry share. This was followed by tripadvisor.com (2%) and agoda.com (1.38%).* Low-cost carriers did particularly well in the top airline and airports category, with ryanair.com achieving an impressive 4.87% traffic share. Second place went to southwest.com (3.29%), while easyjet.com claimed third (2.93%).* In general tourism, tripadvisor.com claimed 4.15% of industry traffic share. But in accommodation and hotels, booking.com trumped the competition with a whopping 20.45% share of traffic.* In terms of travel apps, Google Maps is the most popular in the US and the UK.* In the UK, the majority of travel app usage takes place at the weekend, whereas in the US it mainly happens during the week.* When planning a holiday, 46% of travellers rely on word-of-mouth recommendations. 29% draw inspiration from review sites, 22% depend on social media, 16% look to print media, while 11% make a decision based on advertising campaigns. Although some believe travel blogs can have a great deal of influence over booking decisions, only 3% of holidaymakers said they used this content as their key resource. While online travel agents can be much cheaper, 34% of people chose to book a holiday directly with the service provider (e.g. an airline or hotel) in 2014. 25% chose an online travel agent, while 20% went to a high street travel agent. In the first six months of 2014, travel bookings on mobile grew faster than desktop - 20% versus 2%. KEY TRAVEL MARKETING CHANNELS FOR 2015 Some people may already know how and where they will make a book- ing, but what about undecided travellers? How can travel brands attract these customers and which channels should they be using? As far as traffic acquisition goes, search is by * SMART AIR SRC far the most fruitful channel, averaging a combined traffic share of 44.66% for the categories tourism, airlines and airports, and 3302921093803 accommodation and hotels.* In all of these categories, direct traffic acquisition places second, whereas referrals come in third.* However, the need for a multi-channel approach is crucial, as various brands have proved: King of the accommodation websites booking.com achieved a multi-channel marketing score of 82.7%, the best of all travel brands according to a study by eDigitalResearch. For Expedia, incoming traffic sources are fairly even between direct, referrals and search. Although significantly lower, visitors from mail, social, and display ads are around the same levels to. After using Twitter as a real-time customer service support tool, turning construction hoardings into public information points, and integrating with ratings and review sites, Gatwick Airport saw an increase in online buzz of 57%, with 85% of comments being positive. TRAVEL TRENDS TO KNOW IN 2015 What else does 2015 have in store? Which trends do marketers need to be particularly aware of when it comes to promoting certain holidays or deals? 74% say free in-room Wi-Fi is the most influential amenity when booking accommodation. This is followed by free breakfast (60%), in-room amenities (58%), free shuttle service (35%), and staff who speak the traveller's language (35%). The biggest thing a traveller will spend his or her money on is sightseeing (54%). Additional expenditure will go on special dining experiences (41%), accommodation (41%), activities (35%), and shopping (24%). PASSPORT Perceived barriers to visiting dream destinations include saving money (60%), time to visit properly (38%), price of flights (30%), and currency exchange rates/right people to go with (16%). UTILISE MULTI-CHANNEL MARKETING Marketers need to utilise multi-channel marketing to target certain audiences on a range of devices and platforms. Furthermore, they must focus on promoting the amenities or attributes that travellers find most appealing. Data provided by Sources: tripadvisor.com • hotel-industry.co.uk • unwto.org • skift.com abta.com • criteo.com • econsultancy.com • tnooz.com OSimilarWeb BROUGHT TO YOU BY Smart Insights JBH CREATING COMPELLING ACTIONABLE DIGITAL CONTENT FOR BRANDS MARKETING ADVICE JBH.CO.UK SMARTINSIGHTS.COM 000 B.

The State of Travel Marketing

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Infographic designed for Smart Insights as part of the team at JBH Marketing.

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