Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the need to travel is more prominent in people across the globe now more than ever. As a species, we have a knack for things we can’t do, and once this whole thing blows over and the borders are open, it’s safe to assume that people will be traveling like crazy.
However, the coronavirus pandemic isn’t the only thing that has influenced traveling. Technology has had a huge impact on the industry, and most travel booking is one from the comfort of your own home on the internet rather than through costly agencies.
Whether you’re looking to explore the high-tech world of China or the vibrant tradition of Europe, we’ll take a look at some of the more interesting travel statistics in online travel booking, as well as the travel industry itself, and help define what traveling is and what it’s going to become once the world heals up from the SARS-COV-2 pandemic.
The Market Size
Before the coronavirus pandemic, the traveling industry has been thriving. Not only was the industry booming, but the way that traveling as a whole went on has also completely changed. While in the past, if you wanted to travel, you’d most likely have to visit a traveling agency, find out a plan that suits you, and then accustom yourself to the requirements that the agency provided.
These days, the middle man is cut out, as about 82% of all travel bookings in 2018 were made through the internet.
That, along with other things, has significantly impacted global travel sales, which have not only increased but shifted in more ways than one.
The online travel market was expected to grow to astronomical proportions in 2020, at a whopping $817 billion. While it missed the mark slightly due to the global pandemic, things are looking quite well for the next couple of years.
Furthermore, the internet has changed traveling for the better, as the growth of about 10.3% was expected for 2020.
Behavior And Trends
The market size isn’t the only thing that has experienced a change of massive proportions about online travel booking, as the way people conduct and behave themselves has completely changed.
While this might be a direct result of the global pandemic, it’s safe to say that this unlikely situation has caused quite a stir in the behavior and especially the trends that people seek out with online booking. More people are stuck at home now than ever, and more people are making exciting plans for their next destination.
During the pandemic, people have grown fond of personalized experiences on online booking websites. Reports show that about 90% of customers prefer a personalized booking experience.
People have been looking at ways to save as much money as possible when traveling. That has brought to light that people who handle their booking before they reach their destination spend about 47% more on accommodation than the people who prefer to book when they’re there. Furthermore, it’s only made worse because people who book ahead spend about 81% more on travel due to reservation and processing costs.
Reviews & Testimonials
The digital revolution that has spread through the travel industry isn’t without its new hardships, and most of the themes come in the form of reviews and testimonials. Sadly, a bad experience is far more likely to result in a bad review than a good experience resulting in a good review, so as a service professional, you’ll have to take the best care possible about your guests.
Only 22% of people will review your service without being asked, which is far from ideal. If the customer is encouraged to leave a review, that number shoots up to 80%.
People like to leave reviews, and it has never been simpler to share your opinion about a hotel, accommodation, or destination than ever.
About 72% of travelers will not make a booking until they’ve done at least some elementary research on their destination and accommodation. In most cases, the first thing they’ll find is the reviews from your customers.
Mobile Vs. Desktop Booking
The exciting prospect of smartphones has taken the world by storm, and only in the short span of a decade, almost everyone seems to have one. It took other technologies decades to reach the levels of widespread use as smartphones did in a matter of months since their introduction.
Smartphones are so common and prominent that more people use smartphones than they use real computers. Websites are visited more times by smartphones than by PCs, which affects the world of online travel booking.
These days, people can book an entire trip without going to an agency or sitting behind a computer screen. You can do everything on the go. About 48% of all smartphone users are more than happy to book an entire trip, traveling and accommodation included, solely from their smartphones.
Furthermore, about 26% of all online travel searches come from smartphones and mobile devices.
Apps make the world of smartphones go round. If it weren’t for apps, the number of people using smartphones would decrease significantly, and that is especially apparent in the traveling industry. Hotels, agencies, and services that have booking apps are five times more likely to be used than a simple booking website, as apps usually provide a wide range of variety, are easier to use, and come with an overall better UI.
If you’re looking to travel, you might not be able to due to the coronavirus pandemic. Luckily, no pandemic lasts forever and that once all of this blows over, you can book the best trip of your life without even having to sit at your desk.
Mobile phones dominate online booking. With the trend becoming that much more popular, it’s just a matter of time before you can explore, experience, and enjoy all the world’s destinations just by tapping a couple of buttons.
Mor is Senior Account Manager, Global Learning & Organizational Development. She holds a M.B.A. in Business and Management, Organizational Behavior and a BA in Hotel and Tourism Management Graduate from Ben Gurion University.
The travel industry sparked Mor’s interest because of its endless opportunities and constantly evolving nature. She has more than a decade of experience in the hospitality and travel technology industry in Israel and United States. Mor is currently helping us grow not only with her account management abilities but also improving our cutting edge tool and responsible for many innovative projects that Hotelmize builds for the future, thanks to her analytical and technical skills.