The survey revealed a travel scape of cost-conscious bookers, many who are looking to aggregate sites for booking, despite claiming loyalties to hotel groups, airlines, and cruise lines. The search bar reigns supreme in the digital experience and travellers look to book accommodation and activities on as few sites as possible.
When asked for the most common reason they’d book outside of loyalty, 58 per cent of respondents named price. Most travellers said that as little as a £100 price difference between their loyalty brand and another brand would drive them to book with the other brand. Even the majority of people who said their travel persona was ‘Lover of Luxury’ will still book outside of loyalty if the price difference reaches £100.
Nearly 20 per cent of respondents drew a hard line and said cost rules all and would never book the more expensive, brand-loyal option. The survey revealed that brand familiarity and the ability to earn points are the two most common reasons that travellers would consider a slightly more expensive, brand-loyal choice.
The survey revealed that 56 per cent of travellers prefer the simplicity of booking everything on as few sites as possible (restaurants, hotels, activities, flights, rental car, etc). People booking flights and cruises were evenly split in their preference for using an aggregate site versus going directly to a brand’s website. Hotel room bookers were slightly skewed towards booking on a site like Expedia or Kayak, with 53 per cent preferring to book on an aggregate site.
Other key findings in the survey include:
- Loyalty was stronger among respondents between 18 and 34 years old. The majority identified airlines that they were loyal to, with only about 20 per cent saying that they’re not loyal to any airline compared to more than a third of respondents aged 34 and up
- Travellers are more than three times as likely to opt for a hotel room when travelling versus an Airbnb, with the biggest draw being the hotel’s amenities, including room service, housekeeping, onsite dining, etc
- Nearly 45 per cent of travellers enjoy doing their own research around the web and booking across multiple sites, so they can personally tailor every option and price point
- More than half of survey respondents say the most common reason they get frustrated with online booking is hitting a dead-end when availability doesn’t fit, and a website doesn’t offer additional recommendations.
The survey was conducted in June of this year and was limited to respondents who travel for leisure at least once a year.