Brits online holiday habits revealed
- Dec 18, 2006
The research conducted by Nielsen//NetRatings on behalf of marketing agency Harvest Digital and pan-European advertising network Adviva, also reveals that 1% of Internet users book on Teletext.
Nine per cent of internet users book their holidays on the high street after researching online and a further 17 per cent research holidays online then book over the telephone proving that the internet is the most important channel for researching and buying holidays.
A beach holiday is the most common type of holiday booked online followed by a long-haul trip, cruise or fly-drive whilst activity holidays are more popular on the high street.
Two thirds of online shoppers usually take two or more major holidays (one week or more) a year and a quarter have three or more holidays.
Older people are particularly likely to take regular holidays with 23% of people aged 55 and over taking three holidays per year compared with just 16% of internet users overall.
This group is also likely to book a holiday at the last minute: 28% of people aged over 55 booked their holiday a month or less before departure, compared with 25% of under 24’s and 18% of internet users overall.
Commenting on the research, Mike Teasdale Planning Director at Harvest Digital said: “Obviously offline media still has a vital role to play in the marketing mix, but once an online consumer is interested in a specific destination or holiday, they use the Internet to research and buy.”
The research was conducted through Adviva, the largest CPM focused network in the UK, which reaches 19.7 unique users with seven million impressions a month in the travel sector. 863 completed questionnaires were collected.
Fiona McKinnon, European Corporate Development Director at Adviva comments: “The most noticeable shift is from the high street with more than three quarters of holidays now researched or booked online. This is reflected in the high number of people booking late deals and taking more holidays than the average British consumer.”
Almost half of internet users book holidays based on recommendations from friends and families while a third of people read the travel articles in magazines and newspapers, 15% use Teletext and a one in five respondents watch holiday programmes on TV.
Almost two thirds of internet users also use a search engine and other online sources also rate highly: 40% of people research on airline websites, over a third use travel agent websites and local tourism guides such as VisitScotland.com are a resource for 28% of internet users.
27% of people use their high street travel agent as a source of information; far higher than the number of people who book instore. 60% of those who use a search engine book four or more major holidays per year along with 38% of magazine-readers which contrasts with just 13% of those who visit their local travel agent.
Mike Teasdale, from Harvest Digital, said: “Consumers are telling us that word of mouth is very important in terms of choosing a potential holiday. In the past, that would have been a casual chat over a pint: now it seems that the online equivalent is sites like TripAdvisor.com where an entire community are posting tips and recommendations about good places to go.”
Online travel booking and research is even more common for 25 - 34 year olds, and for people booking within four weeks of their departure date.
On both cases 68% of people would book directly on the Internet. The survey also revealed that three quarters of people book their own holidays with no major differences in the travel booking habits of men and women.
The only group with a high number of respondents saying they make or influence the holiday decision but somebody else buys was in the 16-24 age group.
Surveys were delivered as a pop up across the Adviva network to Test (exposed) and Control (non exposed) cells. 863 questionnaires were completed in full by male and female respondents of all ages in September 2006.