Research Insights 5 things to know about shopping and booking behavior

5 things to know about shopping and booking behavior

October 2022
Phocuswright Research

In 2021, the U.S. travel industry finally showed signs of life again, with consumers glad to take travel opportunities as they arose. When planning, shoppers turned away from pandemic-era considerations, focusing more on travel style and budget-related concerns. Across the board, age demographics played a significant role in influencing how shopping and booking took place, with younger travelers much more likely to reach outside of their comfort zones, and to make ecologically-conscious decisions.

Here are 5 research highlights from Phocuswright’s latest travel research report, U.S. Consumer Travel 2022: Shopping and Booking:

  1. By far, the most common method to book air continues to be directly on the airline’s website, mostly due to convenience, the ability to use miles/points and attaining the best price.
  2. Hotels tend to be booked through either the hotel’s website, primarily to get the best price, or via an OTA, for loyalty point accrual.
  3. Both air and lodging booking windows have lengthened somewhat since last year, when COVID-related restrictions shortened them considerably. However, they have not returned to where they were in 2019.
  4. The bulk of travelers appear willing to make some choices to enhance travel sustainability, with younger travelers leading the way.
  5. Facebook and Instagram are the most common platforms that influence travel decisions, and consumers tend to gravitate toward accounts of people they know much more so than celebrities, influencers, or destinations themselves to get ideas or inspiration for trip elements/activities.

Phocuswright Chart: Research Booking Window
(Click image to view a larger version.)

Part of the U.S. Consumer Travel Report 2022 series, this report provides baseline data and analysis on U.S. travel demand and traveler considerations going forward, serving as a benchmark as travel companies navigate the recovery.

Key topics addressed include:

  • An overview of changing U.S. booking behaviors, by key segment
  • Breakdown of travel browsing and booking behaviors by age cohort
  • Analysis of preferred booking channels
  • Consumer purchasing behaviors and expectations surrounding sustainability
  • Methods of sharing trip experiences

In this series: