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British Travellers Spend 2.4 Billion Minutes Engaging with Travel Content, Rely on Multiple Sources for Destination Decisions

May 16, 2016 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

A new study commissioned by Expedia® Media Solutions, the advertising arm of the Expedia group, and conducted by comScore explores the online and offline touch points that can influence the purchase journey for British travellers.

The British Traveller’s Path to Purchase study examined the 45-day period leading up to online travel booking by consumers in the UK, including desktop and mobile device usage, destinations considered, and resources utilised. The study found that British travellers spend 2.4 billion minutes engaging with digital travel content, which is a nearly 45 percent increase year-over-year. Nearly one billion of those minutes are spent on travel content from a mobile device – an 82 percent increase year-over-year.

As multi-device usage and its impact on content consumption and booking behaviour continues to evolve, travellers are presented with more options than ever before, leading to an extensive research and booking path – and creating myriad opportunities for advertisers to influence destination and purchase decisions.

In the UK, more consumers are engaging with travel content on mobile devices than desktops, though in general, users are becoming more device agnostic.

  • More users now engage with travel content on mobile than desktop devices, nearly 28 million versus 25 million, respectively
  • Forty-nine percent of users engage with travel content on multiple devices, compared to 28 percent of mobile-only users and 21 percent of desktop-only users
  • Nearly half of smartphone owners and 63 percent of tablet owners used their device for trip research
  • Browsers are still the primary way UK consumers access mobile travel information (64 percent), and the total share of browser minutes surpassed apps in most travel categories – most notably OTAs (80 percent), Airlines (72 percent) and Hotels/Resorts (72 percent)

Travel continues to be a considered and time consuming purchase, and the average online travel booker visited travel sites more than 121 times during the 45-day path to purchase.

  • Sixty-eight percent cited an online source as the first resource used to help decide on a destination
  • Users average more than 18 visits to travel sites per week during the 45 days prior to booking, and spend more than an hour and fifteen minutes on desktop travel sites in the week leading up to purchase
  • By the end of the booking path, average visits per booker increased by more than 200 percent, resulting in close to daily visits to travel sites, on average

Destination decisions are influenced by many factors, and 54 percent of UK online travel bookers started the research process with multiple destinations in mind.

  • British online travel bookers are two times more likely to book an international trip versus a domestic trip, and millennials were more likely to consider or book trips further abroad
  • OTAs (12 percent) and search engines (12 percent) were the most common initial online resources when deciding on a destination, while recommendations from family and friends were the most common offline resource (15 percent). OTAs also have the most booker engagement, compared to other travel site categories, with 32 percent of total visits throughout the booking path.
  • Search engines (68 percent) were used most as a resource near the beginning of the purchase path, but dropped to only eight percent at booking; OTAs (31 percent), airline sites (36 percent) and hotel sites (23 percent) were leading booking tools, and also used consistently throughout the path to purchase

The travel advertising marketplace is crowded, but full of opportunity.

  • Thirty percent of travel bookers who were considering more than one destination were influenced by advertising; millennials were 25 percent more likely to notice travel advertising than other age groups, and 26 percent said advertising influenced their destination decision
  • Forty-eight percent of online travel bookers said travel package advertising most influenced their booking decision
  • Though travel only accounts for two percent of online display ad impressions, 10 percent of display ads served to an online booker during their path to purchase were travel ads, showing that targeting is working

“Travel continues to be a complex buying decision, and one travellers invest a significant amount of time in, as illustrated by the number of travel site visits prior to booking,” said Noah Tratt, senior global vice president of Expedia Media Solutions. “Considering that more than half of online travel bookers in the UK start with multiple destinations in mind, understanding how and when decisions are influenced throughout the path to purchase can help marketers better reach and engage British travellers in the weeks leading up to booking.”

To view the full study please visit:

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