Monday, July 07, 2008

Better searchers use metasearches...

Kayak.co.uk is the latest online travel business to try to generate some consumer-facing PR by telling everyone that the Brits will continue to travel despite the tough economic conditions etc, etc...

But there’s a paragraph in the release which might be of interest to Travolution’s readers. When asked about booking,

‘nearly every respondent (96%) said they preferred to research holidays online
instead of visiting a high street travel agent (2%) in order to research new and
exciting destinations and to find the best deals.’

So people who respond to online surveys on a travel web site use travel web sites to buy travel. No surprise there then, other than the fact that one in fifty kayak users still thinks they can get a better deal and advice on the high street!

But there’s more:

Almost half of respondents (46%) typically visit between two and five travel
websites and nearly a third (31%) will visit up to ten. A dogged 20% of
respondents, intent on thoroughly researching holiday destinations and finding
new ways to trim costs, will visit 11 or more travel websites.

This provides a nice contrast with some research put out by Google at the start of the year which said that consumers visit on average 22 travel websites before booking.

It looks as if customers are evolving – those who have cottoned onto kayak are more targeted in their searching than people starting out from Google.

Martin Cowen, chief writer, Travolution

3 comments:

onliner said...

I don't disagree with your conclusions, but I wouldn't rush to base any business strategy decisions on a survey sample of .....41 people!

I think this survey has more value as a PR tool than a business tool ;)

Travolution Blogger said...

Onliner, thanks for the comment.

At Travolution Towers we’re always looking for industry issues hinted at in consumer PR, and the ‘number of sites visited before booking’ aside from kayak is worth noting.

The kayak.co.uk figures are taken from around 1000 responses to an online survey. Apologies to all for not including it in the initial post, not least its PR agency which added that ‘[the survey] was made available to respondents from all demographics, thus making sure the results were unbiased.’

The Google research was carried out 'using comscore's panel which is 50,000 in the UK.

So while general internet users visit lots of travel sites before booking, experienced internet users visit fewer.

So you’re right – not enough to base a business strategy on, but something to keep an eye on

Mike M said...

I'm a Kayak convert, I've found that for my traditional trips (any where that I've been before or pretty much know what I want) that Kayak is great. A one stop shop ...

... now for my once a year excursions where I have to do more research, those can take 20+ websites to discover my path.

Based on my own habits, it seems the survey needs to segment the types of travel searches in order to provide meaningful results. (Note - I have not seen the survey or results so that might be the case already).