EyeforTravel Amsterdam

November 2018, Amsterdam

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Lessons from the silly season summer surveys

Travel brands do love a survey and they can provide useful insights into where and how brands can - with the right marketing - grow their audience

Back in 2012, a survey from insurance firm Liverpool Victoria found that many adults still went on holiday with their parents and allowed them to foot the bill. This year, a survey from Enterprise Rent-A-Car concludes that this trend now extends to parents taking and in many cases footing the travel bill for grown up children in their 50s! According to the survey, one in five (19%) adults aged 45-54 had been on holiday with their parents or in-laws in the past year, and over 75% say the older relatives contributed to some or all of the cost.

However, travelling with the folks, even if they do have more dosh, or anybody else for that matter, is not for everybody – and especially not the Brits! A recent survey from travel search engine Kayak finds that a large percentage of UK travellers prefer to go solo. Key findings include that:

  • Over a third of British adults (35%) have been on holiday by themselves
  • Nearly one in five (19%) have done so in the past year. In addition, while 18% haven’t gone solo they would like to.
  • 13% of Brits would rather travel alone then with their parents vs 6% who are happy to go with the parents

Going solo, going local

Firms targeting travellers with local experiences and attractions, like GetYourGuide, DestyGo and, of course, TripAdvisor and Airbnb, to name a few, will be pleased to hear that 25% of solo travellers are more inclined to engage with locals, and will visit as many as six additional attractions a week. The report also finds that when travelling alone Brits choose to do things that they wouldn’t do when that they wouldn’t when on holiday with others. For example, a quarter would choose to visit a gallery or museum that they wouldn’t have if they’d been with other people, while over a fifth say they tried more adventurous food. Romance also features more strongly with 18% more likely to have a have a holiday dalliance, and one in 20 doing something they would like to keep schtum! 

John-Lee Saez, Kayak’s managing director in Europe says the research helps the travel search engine understand solo habits better – and target them better too  KAYAK.co.uk, for example, recently launched a national TV campaign featuring Lauren Johns, co-founder and chef at Milk Café in London on a journey to Southeast Asia to find culinary inspiration.

Staycationers and a smile

Best Western Great Britain, who is targeting the staycationers, has also been at it. In its recent survey of 2000 Brits, it tried to establish which destinations are most likely to make people smile, and the findings show that some of the most picturesque locations could do a better job at marketing.

The picturesque Broadsands beach on Devon’s Exmoor coast was voted the scene that fills Brits with the most joy, but the study also found that less than one in ten (8%) have ever seen it in person! In fact, the majority of people are yet to visit the most joy-inducing scenes in the country, with seven out of the top ten happiest locations having been ticked off by less than 10% of respondents.

However, while solo travellers may be an important target audience for Kayak, Best Western finds that on average married Brits have visited double the number of UK destinations as single people. When it comes to international travel, it’s not good news for divorcees, who were found to have only visited two international destinations in the past five years versus half the national average of five.

Let’s hear it for youth

According to WYSE and UNWTO youth travellers are estimated to account for 23% of international arrivals. WYSE’s recently published wide-ranging five yearly survey attracted 57,000 responses from 188 countries. As the travel industry’s most comprehensive look into trends of the fast-growing under-30 travel market, it considers what makes millennials and Gen Z tick and uncovers what experiences they are most like to spend on.

Among the main new findings of this year’s report are the accelerated growth of the sharing economy, a huge increase in the desire to live like a local and the rise of digital nomadism, the growing practice of working while on the move.

So, plenty for European marketers to ponder when the summer temperatures start to fall!

Want to hear more about online travel marketing? Join us at EyeforTravel Amsterdam (November 28, 29) to hear from some of the best in the business including Tess Mattison, Director of European Marketing, Choice Hotels and Fabrizio Di Martino, Director, Digital Marketing, IHG Europe

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