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6 Statistics That Matter for Every Travel Marketing Campaign

Let the data about who’s booking travel — and when they’re making plans — inform your destination marketing strategy.

MC Travel

By Tina Kelly

What are the ideal flight dates for your next travel campaign? What kind of content should you include on that landing page you’re building? Set your strategy based on the data. Here are six statistics that destination marketing organizations should be paying attention to.

1. 93% of American travelers have trips planned in the next six months.

That figure is at a three-year high, according to the latest Longwoods International tracking study. In other words, travel is in high demand, despite inflation and other economic concerns.

Of those 93% of travelers who have trips coming up in the next two quarters, here’s a breakdown of when the trips are happening:

  • One-fifth have trips planned within a month
  • A quarter will travel in one to two months
  • Almost a third will travel in three to five months
The Takeaway: Planning windows have shifted. Some travelers are still making bookings 6 months out; others are making last-minute plans. Due to this variability, destinations should consider both seasonal campaigns and evergreen campaigns to promote the destination throughout the year.

2. 64% of travelers have used or plan to use artificial intelligence (AI) to plan their trips.

In a survey of 1,200 travelers conducted by travel publisher Matador Network, nearly two-thirds said that they plan to use or have used AI to plan their trips. Matador is the creator of personal AI travel assistant GuideGeek.

The majority of the survey respondents who have already used AI to plan their travel said that they are using AI tools to save time planning and to find activities.

TripAdvisor, Expedia and AtlasGuru are among other companies rolling out AI travel tools to assist with itinerary planning and trip booking — from virtual agents powered by natural-language processing to allowing users to see at a glance which hotels include breakfast.

The Takeaway: Travelers are still unlikely to hand over every aspect of their trip planning to an algorithm, so use your specific, human expertise to add value and build trust.

3. Group room demand is up 9%.

Leisure travel isn’t the only growing market — business and meeting travel is an increasingly important segment. Insights from the U.S. Travel Association show that relative to last year, group room demand has grown a solid 9%.

The Takeaway: In a post-COVID era, it’s time to re-invest in your meeting business strategy. You’ll need to set your destination apart from other meeting spots and lean on targeted content, digital campaigns and more to attract event planners and business travelers.

4. Travelers who book activities ahead of time spend 47% more on lodging and 81% more on transportation.

It’s important to cater to the planners in your travel audience. Data from Google shows that compared to those who wait to book until at the destination, travelers who book ahead of time are spending more on both lodging and transportation.

The Takeaway: Some of your most important travel audiences like to go in with a plan. So make it easy on them — and increase the revenue coming to your destination — by providing lots of helpful content to assist in dreaming up their trip. Curated landing pages should cover everything a visitor will need; email campaigns should drive users to make bookings instead of waiting until the last minute to commit.

5. 48% of experience bookings happen once the traveler arrives at destination.

On the flip side, don’t neglect spontaneous travelers! A large portion of experience bookings, in particular, happen during a traveler’s visit instead of in advance, says data from Think with Google. You should keep surfacing information about attractions and activities even once travelers have arrived.

The Takeaway: Your travel guide isn’t just for planning a trip beforehand: It’s also a tool to encourage bookings once the trip has already begun. And make sure to reserve some of your digital marketing spend for in-market campaigns — especially those promoting key attractions.

6. 95% of travelers keep visiting travel-related sites after booking.

Tourism marketing isn’t one-and-done. After booking, nearly all travelers continue to visit travel-related sites, says Google/Bain data. A large part of this online activity is trip research: 74% of people in the same survey re-researched a trip after completing a booking.

The Takeaway: Here’s where retargeting ads come in clutch. By sharing travel content and helpful tools with audiences who’ve already visited your site, you can help inspire travelers to make the most of your destination during their upcoming trip.

Are You Reaching the Right Travel Audiences at the Right Time?

We can help fine-tune your digital marketing strategy so that you can capitalize on interest and increase traffic to your destination.

Let’s Chat

Tina Kelly
Tina Kelly Chief Marketing Officer

Tina brings more than 10 years of experience to C/A, where she partners with companies to develop digital marketing campaigns that leverage content, encouraging audiences to consume, engage, share and convert. Tina’s experience spans industries, having led digital marketing strategy development and execution for several global and national brands, including The Children’s Place, Nationwide Insurance, Delta Faucet and many more.

Tina has presented at a number of industry conferences and events, including SXSW Interactive and Content Marketing World. Outside of work, Tina and her husband can usually be found on a sports field somewhere, cheering on their two kids.

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