Valuable Data from Leading Travel and Tourism Organizations
In 2009, travelers in the U.S.
and Europe responded to the global recession by taking fewer trips – and spending
less when they did travel. Travel and tourism organizations’ data show that U.S.
total gross bookings declined 16%, with European bookings down 10%, according
to Phocuswright’s U.S. Online Travel
Overview Ninth Edition (November
2009) and Phocuswright’s European Online
Travel Overview Fifth Edition (October
2009), respectively. With the total travel pie smaller and travelers keen to
get the most out of their leisure trips, destination marketers have to work
harder to attract visitors.
How DMO's Can Respond to Trend Data from Travel and Tourism Organizations
For most destination marketing
organizations (DMOs), the travel slump brought with it a smaller budget. With
fewer resources and a mandate to maintain strong visitation numbers, it’s
crucial to make every bit of budget count. By understanding traveler behavior,
destination marketers can home in on the travelers whom they have the greatest
potential to influence – and implement the most effective strategies for
connecting with them.
Many destinations are tasked with
attracting both domestic and international travelers. This report compares and
contrasts consumer behavior among U.S. and European travelers, focusing on
three major European markets – France, Germany, and the U.K. Analyzing these
markets and their travel and tourism organizations in tandem makes it possible
to highlight characteristics unique to each market, while identifying trends
common to tall three.
Unknown: How U.S. and European Travelers Decide Where to Go provides context for understanding leisure travel
behavior in the studied markets and an in-depth analysis of the travel segment
most relevant to destination marketers: independent destination selectors,
i.e., travelers who have selected at least one of their leisure travel destinations
in the past year. The report provides insight into the destination selection
process and the factors influencing destination selection, including key
motivators, psychographics, information sources, online features, and websites
used in destination selection.
Understanding traveler behavior
in relation to destination selection makes it possible to allocate marketing
spend optimally, improve return on investment, craft traveler messaging, and
ultimately, increase visitation. Traveler perceptions of individual destinations
develop over time and are subject to a broad range of influences. Destination
marketers should be working to educate and influence prospective travelers via
a range of touchpoints, both direct and indirect. The objective of this report
is to provide insights that can help marketers turn travelers into visitors
(and repeat visitors).
To provide context for understanding trends in destination
selection, it is useful to understand general travel and shopping behavior.
This section compares traveler incidence of purchasing lodging and air
products, rates of international travel, future travel intentions, and online
shopping trends across the four markets. In general, although travel incidence
was depressed in 2009, travel and tourism organizations show that travelers
showed signs of optimism when reflecting on their plans for the coming year.