|Summer Travelers Are Swayed By Price, Incentives.|
By Melanie Nayer ~ Weekly Exclusive - Views On The Latest Trends
Wednesday, 11th June 2014
Exclusive Weekly Feature: If you're like most people, summer is your time to travel, the kids are out of school, the clients aren't as demanding, and there are fewer last-minute deadlines to contend with.
It's summer break, and for Americans, it's also the best season to travel.
I reported a few weeks ago in this column that summer travel in the states was up this year, which gives hotels and resorts time to prep for the busy season. But, according to a new report, it's less about hotel loyalty and more about hotel prices that drive consumers to book.
The parago travel report, “The Great American Vacation Study: How Travelers Seek, Shop and Save,” examined US leisure traveler behavior, booking practices and which incentives truly work. Nearly 1,200 consumers responded to the survey.
What's most interesting, in my opinion, from this report is the affluent factor. The parago study found that the higher the consumer income, the more likely they are to snatch up a deal and travel. Yes, more affluents do belong to hotel loyalty programs (71% of them in this survey), but for summer travel, it seems that the affluent travel is more inspired by price.
Additionally, more travelers are booking trips on their own, instead of using a travel agent. Search engines account for most travelers' bookings (57%) and travel booking sites took a distant second (13%). Only 2% of travelers said they use travel agents.
And if you want to know the best way to lure a customer, parago says it's all about the incentive. The study showed that the most desired incentive for hotels, resorts or cruises is a prepaid card or gift card that can be used while on the trip.
Other key findings from the travel research include:
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- 85% of US travelers look online for deals.
- 65% check three or more sites.
- 56% of travelers are more likely to take additional trips if they find great deals.
Melanie Nayer is a hotel reviewer and expert on luxury travel around the world. She has covered all aspects of hotels including corporate restructures, re-branding initiatives, historical aspects and the best of the best in luxury hotels around the world.
Melanie writes a weekly exclusive column for 4Hoteliers.com