Research Insights Three shifts in the way U.S. travelers shop for leisure travel

Three shifts in the way U.S. travelers shop for leisure travel

July 2018
Phocuswright Research

Three shifts in the way U.S. travelers shop for leisure travel

In some years, traveler behavior changes slowly. In 2017, however, there was a big shift in the way consumers shopped for leisure travel. Phocuswright surveyed nearly 4,000 leisure travelers and found three shifts in the way they are shopping and booking travel, published in a recent report: U.S. Consumer Travel 2018: Shopping and Booking.

  1. The gap between shopping via computer and mobile is shrinking
    Over 40% of travelers used smartphones (websites and apps) to shop, up from 28% the year before. A further analysis of websites/apps used in the shopping phase revealed how different ages play a role in determining which websites travelers are most likely to shop on (general search engines vs. supplier websites vs. OTAs).

  2. Increased confidence in online booking
    OTAs and suppliers, the two primary online channels, have long battled one another for travel bookings. In 2017, however, metasearch was the real winner. The most dramatic shift to metasearch happened among lodging bookings.

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  1. Price exceeds loyalty
    Offering better prices is the top reason that travelers book online; getting better prices is why more than four in 10 recent hotel loyalty members joined their program.

Part of the U.S. Consumer Travel 2018 series, this report explores the key trends in travel shopping and booking, including online vs. offline channels, websites used, the impact of loyalty program memberships and more.

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