Change in Attitude to Online Travel Bookings Sparks New Trend

April 6, 2015
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People are increasingly heading straight to brands’ websites when it comes to booking their vacation.

An increasingly confident internet-based customer with better understanding of how the travel market works online has meant the emergence of a new trend for bookings in 2015, according to the latest report from the 2015 Portrait of American Travelers Survey.

It said that as users become more and more comfortable with using websites to book their vacations, more Americans are moving away from online travel agents (OTAs) and towards brands themselves, something they perceive as cutting out the middle man.

Authors of the report say that this puts to bed some of the commonly held beliefs about the travel market online in America, adding that it could have a significant impact moving forward with regards to how companies market themselves and their products to potential clients.

“We were surprised to find such significant shifts in travel preferences in just one year. In addition, the survey revealed several unexpected trends across generational groups,” said Steve Cohen, vice-president of Insights for MMGY Global, which conducted the survey of over 2,000 travelers.

“Clearly the industry is in a state of flux, as the way people view and make decisions regarding travel is evolving at a much faster pace than in previous years.”

The changes in some areas were seen as being very significant. This included the fact that in 2015, only 58 percent of people said they had made use of OTAs in order to get information. Surprisingly this was way down from the 84 per cent recorded just a year ago.

In addition, only 13 percent said that they would make a booking on an OTA rather than through a brand’s own website. Again, this showed a real fall from last year, when the number who said the same sat at 36 percent.

When it comes to the reasoning behind this, 64 percent intimated that they feel they can get a better price from a brand directly than they would from an OTA, while some 67 percent said it was just more convenient to do so.