New research into how UK consumers book their holidays reveals a startling shift away from bricks-and-mortar travel agents and towards online research and booking.
The general trend towards online will be no surprise to anyone in the industry, but the extend to which people have already abandoned the high street may be a surprise: 53% of consumers avoid in-store travel agents altogether during booking process 72% of consumers prefer to research holidays online
Travel mirrors other sectors in the rise in influence of smartphones, with 3 out of 10 consumers using the phones to browse for holidays and tickets, and 11% having actually made a booking through their phone. There’s an even split in preferences for apps and mobile sites, with 70% of smartphone owners preferring mobile-optimised sites for researching accommodation, travel or trips, and the same amount preferring apps for ‘on the spot’ information like timetables and tickets.
The head researcher behind this data makes a further point that it’s not just the app/site debate that companies should be focusing on:
"Our research has consistently shown that consumers expect a seamless experience no matter how they shop and browse, and therefore travel brands need to make sure that they offer the same features and functionality across all their booking channels."
Derek Eccleston, Head of Research at eDigitalResearch