Visit England commissioned market research during 2012-13 looking into what drives consumers to book their tourism experiences and holidays. The Look, Book, Took report published July 2013, suggests methods coastal businesses can use to both attract more business and make the booking process as attractive as possible, so securing bookings from potential visitors.
The report includes sections on how people make the decision to purchase, the information they use, how to influence their decisions, how decided thevisitor was on their initial choices and how visitors use online research to shape their decision making.
8,680 interviews were conducted over 12 months.
Of the participants interviewed (3555), 59% were booking for 1-3 nights, 36% 4-7 nights and 46% were booking a hotel, 13% self-catering, 11% family and friends and 11% caravan and 9% B&B.
They were spending on average £273 per person during their trip.
Some 78% were returning to a destination they had visited in the last 3 years, 63% of these visited at least annually.
To monitor the customer’s purchase decisions and journey, tracking of website use was undertaken, followed by a survey.
33% thought about the trip and booked it in the same month, and 22% (1 in 5) undertook this process in two months.
26% booked and actually undertook the trip in the same month, with 31% over two months and 26% within 3 months.
The strongest preference was to consider and book a short trip (1-3 nights) within the same month across all group categories, pre family was strongest at 46%, post and older family 38%, and young family 32%. Visitors searched activity and websites more for short breaks, those without a family spent longer researching.
Looking at the choice of destination, 2 out of 3 people only considered a trip within Great Britain. 38% had slightly or significantly reduced their holiday budget, 27% had reduced the duration and 31% the amount of spending money per person, but more than 50% of visitors had not altered any of these holiday decisions, increasing spending in these
Influence of advertising
With regard to advertising, less than 10% claimed they had been influenced in any part of their holiday decision process by advertising, though email advertising worked well for short trips (39% for 1-3 nights) and serviced accommodation (39%). Newspapers are more likely to influence those looking for non-serviced accommodation (19% compares to 6% in hotels).
The internet was the most important source for:
Those booking online are more likely to plan their trip online, with online review sites and large hotel chains dominating search terms used especially for post-family groups, though younger families had a wider range of search terms, older families focus on “last minute” terms.
72% booked their accommodation online, with 23% booking via telephone. Short breaks and serviced accommodation show higher levels of booking online.
Pre-family or young family families are more likely to use a mobile to undertake searches, while 1 in 4 will use a mobile device at some stage of the decision making process, however the home computer still dominates.
To read the full report click here.
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