Expedia Research Updates Afford Hope to Connect Travel Webinar Gathering: The latest of Connect Travel’s “Staying Connected” series continued last Thursday with updated insights from Expedia Group™ Media Solutions via its director of business development, Derek Price—a familiar and oft-quoted presence in both the international and domestic travel & tourism markets.
“Domestic is really ruling, sort of, the decision-making of our customers,” said Price, as he introduced his presentation, which was based largely on Expedia research conducted over a four-month period that coincided with the unofficial beginning last April of the worldwide corona virus-drive global pandemic.
Expedia’s online legions of customers and visitors were still traveling, he explained, and if they weren’t actually traveling, they were visiting online to check the status of things, dream about travels they would like to take, or actually shopping. The following tables and graphics illustrate some of the key points made by Price.
“Many of you who may be on the destination side are seeing that drive market is even more important now than it ever has been before in fact we are seeing people willing to drive longer than they ever have before.” (Derek Price)
“Nine in 10 travelers would use an OTA to book travel in the current climate.” – Expedia Group Media Solutions
The Millennial is Rising*
→ Millennials are more likely to use a travel agent (compared to Generation X-ers and Baby Boomers)
→ More than 70 percent of Millennials plan on using a travel agency in the future.
Source: MMGY Global 2016
* Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are the demographic cohort following Generation X and preceding Generation Z. Researchers and popular media use the early 1980s as starting birth years and the mid-1990s to early 2000s as ending birth years, with 1981 to 1996 a widely accepted defining range for the generation. (Wikipedia)
—Health and safety information is critical.
—Travelers are staying with family, or at vacation rentals
—Domestic car trips are trending.
—Travelers are using a range of sources to book travel.
• “From the very beginning they (travelers) never lost the love of traveling and we found
that a good portion of our customers were still coming to our site on a regular basis
to dream about where they were going to go next … that’s really a positive story to tell.”
• “Many of you who may be on the destination side are seeing that the drive market is even more important now than it ever has been before; in fact, we are seeing people willing to drive
longer than they ever have before.”
• “I’ve got to be honest with you I don’t think I love anybody enough to be in a car with them
for 1,500 miles but they’re willing to do it, and I think that’s super exciting so, if you if there are any car rental companies, also rural hotels—what a great opportunity to start talking about road trips because people are not driving that distance.”
• “One of the things that we are hearing is that in the non-urban locations, those hotels that are set farther out from city center are actually seeing stronger occupancies than those hotels
Downtown. And I think it’s because people are looking to give themselves space away from the crowds. “
• “For those of you who are wondering when I talk about deals and offers—especially from an Expedia Group point of view—it’s not always the least expensive price, and in fact, very often, lowest price is not the winner; it is the value of what people get … It is all about how safe they’re going to feel within the product that you’re offering. So, if you’re not doing it now, I would certainly recommend including some type of health and hygiene information within your messaging.”
• “About the advanced booking window—people are really looking for that short-term window someplace and going on vacation in the next zero to three weeks, so something to think about when you’re talking with your partners or talking internally with your stakeholders is that consumers are looking to book short-term and that is because there’s a comfortability level saying ‘Okay, if I can travel in the next two weeks, I kind of know what’s going to happen’.”