Technology

New study reveals gaping hole in Aussie travel industry

Mobile phones are already playing a huge role in the way we travel.

You know, like basically every other aspect of our lives.

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From using them as cameras, checking on the go reviews or just keeping in touch with our loved ones while we’re away, smartphones are becoming an essential tool for travellers.

Now, it seems, travellers are increasingly using their smartphones to book their trips too.

Travel marketing research company, Sojern, has worked with Google to develop their Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) Travel Report.

Drawing on Google search data and 350 million traveller profiles developed by Sojern’s from billions of travel intent signals, the report takes an in-depth view of how local, regional and international travellers search, compare and book travel.

“Our data shows tourism continuing to grow significantly in Australia and New Zealand,” said Chris Greenwood, Sojern Regional Sales Director.

“Despite the increasingly complex traveller path to purchase, which spans multiple devices, channels and platforms, this growth presents a huge opportunity for travel marketers.”

“Brands with personalised, cross-channel strategies that engage with travellers on all devices and in all stages of the path to purchase will win in this market.”

Unsurprisingly, most of the key findings revolve around the need for travel companies to have a stronger mobile presence.

Here are the top three takeaways from the research:

Mobile-first Searches Indicate Need for More Mobile Marketing

56 per cent of in-region Google travel queries for Australia and New Zealand came from mobile phones indicating mobile-first behaviour when searching for travel.

Sojern’s data revealed the mobile-first trend continued with international travellers planning trips to this region: 43 per cent of travellers from outside the APAC region searched for trips on mobile.

According to the market research company, the importance of a mobile strategy for marketers in this region cannot be overstated.

Mobile-first, but Travelers Moving Cross-Device to Book

Tourists travelling to Australia and New Zealand engage heavily in mobile while planning their trip, but many move cross-device when booking.

APAC travellers, those closest in distance to the ANZ market, are more likely to book on their mobile phones.

This is consistent with what we’ve seen in the past and indicates that when consumers book within the region or book last minute, they use mobile to do so.

However, when booking a trip that is further away in distance or time, they switch to a desktop.

Additionally, adding to the complexity of the traveller’s path to purchase, mobile device usage trends for travel searches fluctuates based on the day of the week.

According to Sojern data, travel searches peak on Mondays and Tuesdays across all devices.

Travel search is lowest during the weekend, but the share of mobile searches increases by nearly 10 per cent during the same time.

With mobile searches on the rise—despite increased complexity—implementing a multichannel strategy that engages travellers on all devices at every stage of the path to purchase is key for travel marketers.

Consumer Sentiment shifts while Holiday Rentals, Cruise Growing

While air travel and hotels reign supreme in terms of volume, there has been significant year-over-year growth for holiday rentals and cruise queries for in-region travel.

Even more interesting, ‘generic’ queries are outgrowing ‘branded’ queries, indicating that consumer sentiment around brand loyalty may be shifting when evaluating travel options.

This indicates that travellers may be looking for alternative lodging and types of travel once in-destination and that they may search more generic terms or turn to the home sharing market to try and find the best deals while browsing online.

“The Sojern Traveller Platform allows us to better understand in-market audiences in real-time—talking to the right customers at the right time with the right message,” adds Greenwood.

“Whether you are an airline, a big international hotel, or a tour operator, you need to understand the differences between travellers looking to visit Australia and New Zealand and how to reach them as they dream, plan, and book their trips.”

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