Highlights from the Google’s “The 2013 Traveler” Study

Aiming to find out “How have the attitudes and behaviors of leisure and business travelers changed over the past year?“, Google commissioned Ipsos MediaCT to conduct a travel tracking study to better understand the role of travel in the lives of U.S. consumers. 5,000 participants (3,500 leisure and 1,500 business travelers) completed a 20-minute attitude and usage survey on their travel habits regarding airline, cruise, lodgings, car rental and vacation packages. The findings are indeed interesting, and here are the major highlights.

“Leisure travelers seek travel inspiration online, anticipate more family travel, and want to stay connected while traveling”

An interesting finding at this section reveals that the percentage of people who began researching online before they decided where or how to travel grew – from 65% in 2012 to 68% in 2013.

Price is the most important feature for business travelers when selecting travel

Another interesting part of the study reveals what’s more important for business travelers. Whether it is air travel, lodging or car rental, price is the number one criteria for selecting one option over another. Also, 65% book travel directly on company sites more often than via online travel agencies.

Value becomes more and more important for travelers from all segments

The report also revealed that people spend more time searching before booking as they are interested in value.

The price, related activities to traveler’s interests offered and the past experience are top features when choosing a destination

Price is, undoubtedly, the most important feature when choosing a destination (85%), but a look at the most important features travelers are looking for revealed that they are also interested in the relevant experiences offered (73%), past experience with a place (64%), varied activities (62%), being able to relate to a location (59%), and promotion (57%).

Loyalty programs can increase bookings, but are not a guarantee as a matter of a fact is that 38% of business travelers are LESS likely to plan travel based on loyalty programs or points in 2013 than they were in 2012.

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As perhaps expected, internet is as essential for inspiring new travel as it is for planning travel, and among online sources, travelers mostly rely on brand sites and search (search is the number one source for leisure travelers and number three for business travelers).

Videos are also important and it looks like the penetration of smartphones and other devices leads to booking across different channels.

Once again, an interesting report, definitely worth checking it out! You can find it here.

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