All the more travelers across the globe are focusing on value and personalization with demand growing for technologies that make travel easier to manage providing more control over the travel experience, according to Travelport’s Global Digital Traveler Research 2019.
According to a survey of 23,000 people from 20 countries, demand for digital solutions is increasing, demonstrating the leading role these products play in decision-making, travel planning and autonomy.
The report goes on to note that though travelers seek value over cost, they find it with effort.
More specifically, the survey found that four out of five (86 percent) travelers seek value when booking a flight with just one in five (18 percent) booking solely on cost. Baby Boomers (91 percent) are in the lead in terms of prioritizing value compared to younger generations.
When seeking out value plans, vacationers ‘nearly always’ turn to a combination of review (42 percent), price comparison (38 percent), and recommendation sites (36 percent) as well as seeking professional travel advice (31 percent).
Online shopping has become a bit tedious, with half (50 percent) not knowing which companies they can trust – up by 6 percent against 2018 – or whether online reviews are genuine (50 percent). At the same time, 43 percent of respondents also said time required to find the right option was ‘frustrating’.
The Travelport survey goes on to add that all the more travelers (42 percent) of all ages want to personalize their own air travel experience through add-ons like extra legroom, additional baggage allowance and meal upgrades.
Personalizing their experience, however, comes with some irritation over what’s included as standard (52 percent, up by 12 percent compared to 2018) and not knowing what add-ons are available to them (56 percent).
The majority of those polled (71 percent) consider it important when booking a flight for an airline to offer a good digital experience, up by 3 percent on 2018. The same applies for more than half (58 percent) when choosing accommodation, up 7 percent on 2018.
The vast majority at 77 percent said they review videos and photos posted by travel brands on social media ahead of trip planning with Facebook being considered the most influential social media platform by all age groups, apart from Gen Z, which prefers Instagram.
Nearly half (44 percent) said they now use voice search to help manage travel, with use greatest among Gen Y travelers (61 percent) and lowest among Baby Boomers (12 percent). Top online requests are for weather information at their destinations (60 percent) and live traffic updates (54 percent).
Among top pet peeves is the inability to speak to a human with 42 percent of all age groups finding it frustrating, up from 38 percent in 2018.
“Travelers are consumers too and they want an experience from travel providers and travel agents that is as simple and engaging as the best retailers,” said Fiona Shanley, Travelport’s chief customer and marketing officer.
“Travelport’s latest global research shows that technology is key to this,” she added.