Consumers are prioritising booking travel experiences and are embracing blended trips to have those experiences, according to new research from Google.
In a new study from the search giant, 38% of leisure travellers traveling internationally from the US, the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy say they are more likely to plan or book a “once in a lifetime trip” than ever before.
Forty percent of travellers from those countries also say they now need to invest more time and effort in leisure trips than before the pandemic.
Also compared to pre-pandemic, consumers say they are more open to blended travel – the combination of business and leisure travel – with 74% of business travellers saying they find the idea appealing.
According to Google, 50% of travellers have already taken a blended trip, and for those who haven’t, 37% plan to do so.
Thirty-three percent of business travellers say they would be motivated to go on a blended trip because it makes business trips more fun, while 33% say it gives them the opportunity to get to know places they wouldn’t otherwise visit.
Digital touch points
Travel marketers should prepare for the rise of blended trips by “learning from the past and implementing strategies that deliver reliable results and help drive long-term growth,” Google’s study states.
This includes meeting travellers where they are online and staying top-of-mind regardless of if consumers are looking for business trips, leisure trips or both.
According to the report, 68% of business travellers book at least part of their trip themselves, and of those that do, 62% book online.
Sixty-eight percent of business travellers who book their trips themselves say they have a specific brand in mind before starting to research, and 89% book with that brand.
For leisure travellers, 90% say that digital touch points have an impact on their travel provider decisions.
Fifty-three percent say they expect travel companies to provide a service to help them navigate the risks and uncertainties of leisure travellers, while 41% mention their trust in travel providers is an important purchase driver.
At last week’s Phocuswright Conference in Arizona, Nelson Boyce, managing director of travel at Google, discussed further trends the search giant is seeing as well as how Google’s products help drive value for its partners.