Oct 10, 2018 |

How a partner network can bring destination success

We’ve been writing a lot recently about marketing for Destination Management Organizations (DMOs). You can check out our free eBook ‘The Destination Marketing Handbook’, which is filled with useful tips on how to market your destinations and experiences.

Skift recently published a blog titled '4 Trends Defining Tourism Marketing in 2018.' Dan Peltier wrote, ‘We’ve seen a lot of tried-and-true marketing tactics from destinations this year, but we also saw some newer, smarter strategies on how to use the masses of content and opinions available these days, thanks to social media.’

One trend in the article stood out as an excellent marketing strategy for destinations. It's easily achievable, makes business sense, and surprising that more destinations are not utilizing opportunities to collaborate.

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Published by Stephanie Kutschera | Jul 4, 2018 | | 10 MIN READ

Travel statistics to know about in 2018 and 2019

For tour & activity operators, it can be challenging to find out what the current travel statistics and insights are, without having to look at hundreds of articles across the web.

At TrekkSoft, we know how valuable travel statistics can be to our customers, so every six months we do all the research and collate our findings in one place.

Each December we release the highly anticipated annual travel trends report filled with survey results and expert opinion, and then in July we publish our travel statistics to know report which is an update of what has changed and what to expect in the year ahead. 

Sign up for early access to our Travel Trend Report 2019

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This report includes:

  1. Booking Trends

  2. Destination insights

  3. Tour & Activity Industry Insights

  4. Travel Trends

  5. Marketing insights 

 

Below you can read a snippet of our 65 Travel Statistics to know in 2018-2019.

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Booking Trends

'Personalization' is the keyword for 2018

1. Personalization is the name of the game in 2018 when it comes to the travel customer experience. (Skift, 2018)

2. 57% of travelers feel that brands should tailor their information based on personal preferences or past behaviors. (Google/Phocuswright, 2017)

3. If a travel brand tailored its information and overall trip experience based on personal preferences or past behavior, 36% would be likely to pay more for their services. (Google/Phocuswright, 2017) 

 

And industry leaders agree

4. In a recent interview, GetYourGuide CEO Johannes Reck said that ‘true success in the future of travel comes down to personalization.’ (Tnooz, 2018)

Google’s Vice President of Engineering for Travel and Shopping, Oliver Heckmann, says that nearly 60% of consumers believe that their travel experience should deploy the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and base their search results on past behaviors and/or personal preferences. Google’s data shows that 36% of consumers are willing to pay more for these personalized experiences. (PhocusWire, 2017)

James Waters, Global Director of Customer Service at Booking.com said “as we operate in an industry that is incredibly personal, emotional and complex, maintaining the right balance between genuine human interaction and efficient automation is something we're always trying to fine-tune and optimize throughout every stage of the consumer journey.” (Booking.com, 2017)

Rashesh Jethi, SVP of engineering for Americas and head of innovation for Airlines at Amadeus IT  Group recently said AI, is “a broad umbrella that frankly stands for everything we haven’t been able to figure out yet." (PhocusWire, 2018)

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Booking by mobile continues to increase

5. Booking.com found that 80% of customers prefer to self-serve in order to get the information that they need. (TechRadar, 2018)

Smartphone users

6. Source: Google Consumer Insights, 2018

7. In the US, data shows that 26% of travel searches in the fourth quarter of last year occurred on a mobile device. In other parts of the world, it’s even higher: Travel searches conducted on a mobile device totaled 47% in Europe; 40% in Asia; 38% in the Middle East and Africa; and 34% in Latin America. (Sojern Global Travel Insights, 2018)

 

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Mobile phones aren't just being used to book flights and hotels

8. Over 70% of U.S. travelers agree that they “always” use their smartphones when traveling, up from 41% in 2015. Travelers most frequently use their mobile devices to research activities or attractions, to locate shopping areas and restaurants, or to look up directions. (Google Consumer Insights, 2018)

 

Users are more comfortable with digital assistance

9. 70% of requests to Google Assistant are expressed in natural language, meaning that people are getting more comfortable having conversations with computers. (Google/Phocuswright, 2017)

10. Over 1 in 3 travelers across countries are interested in using digital assistants to research or book travel, and they’re already searching for everything from hotels to flights, and things to do in-destination. (Google/Phocuswright, 2017)

 

Online Travel Agents (OTAs) still have a visibility advantage

11. Using the key phrase "hotel tenerife", Hermann Valsson looked at the ten countries sending the most tourists to the popular holiday destination. Searches on the phrase in the United Kingdom, which accounts for 34% of visitors to Tenerife, had ten out of ten of the organic results coming via online travel agencies, according to the research. Span, Germany, Ireland and Denmark all had ten out of ten links to OTAs. (PhocusWire, 2018)

Read more: How to connect to multiple online marketplaces

GoogleSearch

Last minute booking searches are up

12. Travel-related searches for "tonight" and "today" have grown over 150% on mobile, over the past two years. (Google Data, 2017)

13. 72% of all mobile bookings made by U.S. travelers happened within a 48-hour window prior to the booking. Travelers want more flexibility, which mobile devices have delivered leading to a greater propensity to book last-minute. (Sojern Global Travel Insights, 2018)

14. More than 60% of U.S. travelers would consider an impulse trip based on a good hotel or flight deal. (Google/Phocuswright, 2017)

15. 38% of bookings are made on the same day or two-days before a trip, 53% are made within a week of a trip, and just 19% are made in advance. (PhocusWright, 2017)

 

Key Takeaways:

 

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Destination Insights

Traveler destinations have changed

16. Kayak released their 2018 travel hacker guide based on identified cities around the world with the greatest year-over-year increase in search between March 3, 2017 and February 28, 2018. Top of the leader-board was Maui, Hawaii with a 51% increase in searches, followed by Barcelona, Bali, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Las Vegas, Madrid, Athens, Paris and Rome. (Kayak, 2018)

17. The Travel Market Report which analyses 2018 summer bookings by American travelers confirms the top European destinations are London (+4.63% from 2017), Paris (+5.97%) and Reykjavik (+6.06%). (Travel Market Report, 2018)

 

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And budgets are increasing

18. Travel spend is increasing year on year. The average international trip for American travelers now costs $6,080. Norway was the most expensive destination for American travelers, with an average trip cost of $9,754. (Squaremouth, 2018)

19. In January 2018, travel spending on desktop computers averaged 350 to 460 euros-per-buyer, for EU5 countries. Germany had the highest average spend per buyer, however France had the biggest increase in average spend with 62% year on year growth when compared to January 2017. (EU Travel Report, 2018)

 

It's time to tick off the bucket list

20. 45% of travelers have a travel bucket list in mind. The majority of those (82%) will aim to tick one or more destinations off their list in the coming year. Most likely to feature on a bucket list is seeing one of the wonders of the world, as almost half of travelers (47%) will look to tick this off in 2018. Over a third (35%) yearn to tantalize their taste buds by trying a local delicacy, 34% want to head to an island paradise and 34% are thrill seekers wanting to visit a world famous theme park. 

The other top travel activities to complete in 2018 look set to be experiencing a unique cultural event (28%), learning a new skill (27%), going on an epic road or rail journey (25%) and visiting a remote or challenging location (25%). (Booking.com, 2018)

 

Or to relive childhood holidays

21. As well as new experiences, travelers will be revisiting their favorite childhood memories as part of their trips in 2018. A third of travelers (34%) will consider a holiday they experienced as a child for 2018. Millennial's look set to be even more sentimental with 44% of 18 to 34 year old travelers keen to hark back to favorite family destinations. (Booking.com, 2018)

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Even honeymooners are opting for adventure

22. Pinterest shared stats on 2018 Honeymoon trends where those opting for something different are absconding to Switzerland, big time (+856%). The safari tour is another one people are keen to cross off the bucket list too in 2018 (+219%), while more are taking the opportunity to hit the waves with surf lessons all over the globe (+260%). 

As everyday trends go towards health and wellbeing, so too do those in travel. Vegan and vegetarian options (+183% and +218% respectively) for those taking a trip abroad are being well researched, while food photo workshops (+207%) seem to be the option for those Instagramming their way through their travels. Eco hotels have seen a big increase in search (125%), while film and TV buffs are clearly keen to see where the likes of TV series Game of Thrones was set by planning their travels through popular film locations. (Pinterest, 2018)

Read more: Interview with founder of outdoor winter adventure company, Uteguiden

 

What do travelers define as adventure travel?

23. ‘Getting off the beaten track’ was the most common interpretation with 43.4% ticking the box. After on the results were ‘Seeing or doing something new’ (26.6%) and ‘High adrenaline activities’ (22.5%). ‘Traveling on a budget’ received 6.4% of the votes and ‘Other’ 1.1%. (Intrepid Adventure Travel Index, 2018)

What motivates adventure travel-1

24. Source: Intrepid Adventure Travel Index, 2018

 

Off-peak travel is gaining appeal

25. Iceland welcomed 2.2 million foreign travelers in 2017, with 32.9% of this total arriving during the winter months. North America topped the traveler list with 680,000 departures. (Iceland Tourist Board, 2018)

26. A recent study found that 79% of Americans would consider an overseas trip during the winter, and 53% of them would not be seeking a change in weather. (Forbes, 2018)

27. Winter festivals around the world attract millions of visitors, such as China’s Harbin Ice Festival which had over a million visitors last year. As well, the number of hotels opening in or around the Arctic Circle is increasing, including a new hotel in Northern Sweden. (BBC, 2018)

 

While home sharing is losing interest

28. In 2018, it will be important for travelers that their host is available but not too overbearing (30%) and one in 10 (12%) want a host who they don’t have to speak to at all. (Booking.com, 2018)

One in three travelers (33%) say they’d prefer to stay in a holiday rental (a holiday home or apartment) over a hotel. (Booking.com, 2018)

Read more: How to work with Airbnb hosts to promote your tours and activities

 

Tour & Activity Industry Insights

Experience is STILL our favorite word in travel

29. In May 2018, TripAdvisor jumped onto the experience trend, referencing Viator and TripAdvisor Activities and Rentals now as TripAdvisor Experiences and Rentals. (Skift, 2018)

30. Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky shared research that ‘three in four millennial's said they’d rather buy an experience than a physical good’ showing a strong opportunity for growth. (Recode, 2018)

 

Download this report to read all 65 Travel Statistics to know in 2018-2019:

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Stephanie Kutschera
Published by Stephanie Kutschera
Stephanie is Senior Marketer & Content Writer at TrekkSoft. She has worked in marketing for over 8 years in various business sectors across the UK. She loves exploring and taking part in tours & activities around the world.
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