June 24, 2024

Expedia Group: Online bookers frequently use OTAs for research: Travel Weekly

A large majority of online bookers research travel using OTAs, according to new research from Expedia Group, an OTA giant who is No. 2 on Travel Weekly’s 2023 Power List.

Expedia’s Path to Purchase research found that 80% of travelers who recently booked online travel used an OTA in the 45 days leading up to a booking, making OTAs the top resource for that group. Online bookers also used search engines (61%), social media (58%), airline websites (54%) and meta travel websites (51%) when planning their travel.

Expedia also found that four out of five online bookers visit an OTA “at some point” before booking, “even if travelers book on another website.”

According to Expedia, nearly 60% of online bookers did not start their trip-planning process with a specific destination in mind.

The research also identified how much time online bookers spend researching prior to booking. In the 45 days prior to booking, Expedia said, the average online booker spends 303 minutes, or more than 5 hours, researching travel content. U.S. travelers, in particular, looked at an average of 277 pages of travel content before booking, above the average of 141 pages across multiple markets.

That research takes place more casually in early planning stages, with online bookers vising an average of two-and-a-half pages per day, Expedia said. As booking gets closer, that number increases, with an average of 25 page views on the day the traveler books.

“This research highlights just how much thought and consideration travelers put into planning a trip in the weeks leading up to a booking, as they seek to niche and refine their choices,” said Cheryl Miller, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Expedia for Business.

“This means there are many opportunities to connect with travelers before they make their decisions, underlining the importance of partnership, given that it’s essential to show up across multiple touchpoints and beyond your owned brand channels as frequently as possible along this path.”

Luth Research conducted the survey for Expedia from March 24 through April 19 among 5,713 participants, 18 years and older, who had booked online travel within the last six months. The study also leaned on Luth’s ZQ Intelligence passive metering technology and digital behavior database, which analyzed the path to purchase for more than 70,000 participants in multiple markets.

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