By Clare Riley, Content and Editorial Manager, SiteMinder
A new report from travel data experts, Sojern, reveals that two major behaviour shifts are rising in the hotel and travel bookings space, as consumers have more tools and technology at their disposal, than ever before.
This unrivalled access to online information is changing how prospective guests and passengers shop for hotel rooms and flights, alike.
Sojern’s research, based on more than a billion traveller intent data points worldwide, suggests that travellers are spending more time on the hotel path-to-purchase.
One example of this trend is American travellers, who spend 25% more time on choosing their hotel, than when they search to book a flight.
The second major shift in behaviour centres on last-minute bookings, which Sojern says are multiplying, despite the longer path to purchase that many guests are taking.
In 2015, last-minute shoppers represented 11% (Europe), and 13% (US) of all hotel bookings in the two regions. Flight searches saw a similar phenomenon, with larger proportions of people booking last-minute travel than searching, for both Europe and America.
How many searches are guests conducting?
Sojern’s report also points to a link between the price of hotel room and the number of searches conducted prior to booking that option. More than half of all hotel searches are conducted in the two weeks before the booking.
The number of searches conducted prior to a booking is directly proportional with the price of the room being booked: the higher the hotel segment eventually booked, the more searches were made.
For travellers who start to research hotel options three days before making the booking, the luxury segment hotel guests make on average 20 searches, while upper midscale guests make an average of 12 searches.
Which destinations are global guests visiting?
Sojern’s research shows that, over the past two quarters, leisure hotel guests searched for lengthy stays in every global region.
In the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, destinations like Dubai, Istanbul, and Bangkok propelled their respective countries into the top 10.
In the Americas, leisure travellers looked to travel domestically in the US, and then Mexico, and the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean for overseas getaways, often in parties of two.
Business travellers showed much more interest in Asia-Pacific destinations like India and Indonesia, two popular launchpads for travel in the region.
Popular leisure destinations like Mexico and Spain still rank in the top 10 of business destinations, but fall to spots nine and 10 respectively.