Men spend less time booking trips than women. Younger travellers tend to start their planning later. And 59% of travellers begin researching their next trip between one and three months before departure.
Those are just a few of the findings in the latest TripBarometer1 survey from TripAdvisor. Together with independent research firm Ipsos, TripAdvisor asked 36,000 travellers how they plan and book their vacations – and discovered four booking behaviour trends and six distinct traveller personas.
Four behaviours based on how travellers book their trips:
- Flight bookers (48% of respondents):
- Book flight and destination first.
- Are destination-orientated – they travel mostly to experience different cultures.
- Are most common among those taking longer vacations, in which flights are often more expensive.
- Hotel bookers (29% of respondents):
- Start by researching and booking accommodations.
- Make decisions based on price, and prefer family-friendly destinations.
- Travel for just a weekend break in half of all bookings.
- Mavericks (13% of respondents):
- Book quickly and don’t spend as much time on research.
- Tend to be business travellers, or go on long vacations.
- Are creatures of habit: 17% choose destinations they visit every year.
- Balanced bookers (10% of respondents):
- Combine their interest in cultures with their desire for good travel deals.
- Invest time researching destinations.
- Travel for about as long as other travellers.
Six travel personas based on attitude, booking preferences, age, and income:
- Value seekers are those who say, “We want to make the most of our vacation.” Often travelling with children, they have a medium income and fall mostly into the 25-34 age group. They particularly value TripAdvisor to help them find deals, babysitting services and kid clubs — and they tend to research on their smartphones. Beach holidays are a favourite for people in this group.
- Luxury travellers are those who say, “We want to enjoy and spend.” These are high earners who travel with a partner, have a substantial budget, and are most prevalent in the 25-49 age group. They like their destinations hot and sunny, and cities and beaches top their lists of places to go. They check TripAdvisor before booking—90% say ratings on review sites are important when making a final accommodation booking decision.
- Social travellers are those who say, “We want to share and engage with others.” They don’t travel alone, preferring to spend time with friends and family. They also appreciate babysitting services and kid clubs since they often travel with children. They’re very influenced by word of mouth and recommendations from other travellers and tend to prefer beach holidays. They trust TripAdvisor to help them identify hidden treasures, have medium to high income, and tend to fall into the 25-49 age group.
- Independent travellers are those who say “I want it my way.” They love to go solo and make travel choices independently. They want adventure and use online research to find it. Culture matters to them – climate doesn’t. They are mostly low or high earners, falling into the 25-49 age group. They are most likely to share a TripAdvisor review on social media.
- Researchers are those travellers who say “We want it perfect.” They spend a lot of time researching destinations, activities, restaurants and accommodations, usually on laptops. They spend a little extra for something special. They are often high earners in the 25-49 age group who travel with a partner. Researchers trust TripAdvisor to provide the voice of the consumer when deciding on each stage of the journey.
- Habitual travellers are those who say “We want it simple and easy”: They tend to go to the same locations repeatedly, so they don’t need to spend much time planning or researching. Travel is more about relaxing than activities. Mostly male, they often go away by themselves and tend to be low earners in the 35-64 age bracket.
1.Methodology: The TripBarometer study, by TripAdvisor, is based upon an online survey conducted from 21st of June to the 8th of July 2016, conducted by Ipsos, a global research firm. A total of 36,444 interviews were completed in 33 markets, spanning seven regions. The sample is made up of TripAdvisor website users and Ipsos online panelists who chose to take part in the survey and have researched their travel plans online in the last year. The survey data is weighted to represent the known profile of the global online population, to keep in line with previous waves of TripBarometer.