Today’s traveller wants to visit new places, will spend more in-destination when they get a good deal, and is optimistic about 2020, a survey of more than 900 Travelzoo clients has revealed.
The deals specialist unveiled the findings of its annual travel trends report at an event in London, which also included insights from Google and Abta.
Travelzoo found that 94% of the 925 members surveyed were keen to try new destinations. Japan and Norway have made it onto Travelzoo’s client wish list, with Canada jumping to third place in the list of new places members want to visit.
River cruising has emerged as a trend, with 23% of members putting this on their wish list, while almost 40% want to cruise in Scandinavia.
Consumers were three-and-a-half times more likely to spend more in a destination if they felt they had “scored themselves a good deal”, and more than half of those polled said they had spent more money locally as a result.
When it came to online content, Google’s industry manager-travel Paul Godman said it estimated 60% of consumers surveyed by the tech company did not want to see all of the holiday options search engines presented. “They want [results] tailored to their needs,” he said.
“Amazon and Netflix are redefining the customer experience. It’s important travel brands know what customer expectations are. We’ve [Google] seen travel lag behind.”
He warned: “If customer expectations are not met in 2020, companies doing the same thing are at risk.”
Goldman said travel firms should consider bringing isolated data or “silos” together using cloud platforms and work with third parties to better understand data.
Abta’s director of brand and business development Victoria Bacon predicted artificial intelligence (AI) would play a greater role in travel buying in 2020. “AI is on a journey regarding where its impact will be felt and how it can be tangibly used,” she said. “It is still in the enabler stage. Customers want diversity of channels – 16% use web chat or social media to speak with a travel professional. For example, Hays Travel has a great 24/7 call centre service. I think this year that’s where the market will go.”
In terms of the market overall, Travelzoo found that despite the uncertainty of Brexit, 57% of respondents expect to be financially better off in 2020, with 60% saying their holiday would be in a four- or five-star hotel.
For culture and food
94% polled by Travelzoo were keen to visit new destinations
6 in 10 wanted Google search results tailored to their needs
16% of customers are using web chat or social media to speak to travel agents, according to Abta