Uncommitted travellers should be a key target for destination marketing organisations, claims Phocuswright

New research by Phocuswright shows that an ample number of US consumers do not base their travel based on factors such as location of a vacation home, family commitments or social events, and as a result, for destination marketing organisations (DMO) determining how travellers end up at their destination is not always straightforward.


Summary:

  • New research by Phocuswright shows that destination marketing organisations (DMO) can play a major role influencing US consumers on their travel plans;
  • The company’s upcoming US Consumer Travel Report Tenth Edition shows two in five travellers choose their destination completely independent of other factors and are therefore open to outside influence when making bookings;
  • Phocuswright’s research shows travellers that pick a place for reason other than personal ties or social obligations often may have deeper motives to connect with their destination.
  • Essentially with the right timing and enticing promotions, opportunities exist to convert undecided tourist into visiting a certain destination, Phocusright said.

Conclusions from the company’s upcoming US Consumer Travel Report Tenth Edition show “two in five travellers choose their destination completely independent of other factors. In other words, they have no specific commitments and their options are wide open”.

Phocuswright’s research shows travellers that pick a place for reason other than personal ties or social obligations often may have deeper motives to connect with their destination. Those travellers are motivated to learn about other cultures, see natural wonders or engage in adventure travel.

Those travellers are an attractive group for destination marketers, Phocuswright concludes. They start their destination decision process with a clean slate, and are more receptive to external influences and marketing.

Essentially with the right timing and enticing promotions, opportunities exist to convert undecided tourist into visiting a certain destination, Phocusright said.

Additionally, those travellers that seek adventure and cultural enrichment tend to take longer vacations than those for predetermined reasons. “This is all good news for DMOs – longer trips mean not only greater awareness and a deeper connection to the destination, but also more travel dollars being spent there,” Phocuswright stated.

The previous ninth edition of the US Consumer Travel Report had highlighted that following an all-time high in 2015, the incidence of leisure travel among US adults declined somewhat in 2016, and Americans spent less on travel and took fewer trips, on average. Despite the drop, however, more US travellers stayed in a hotel in 2016, and more now seriously consider private accommodation options than in the past. Phocuswright found that the “growing millennial traveller segment is increasingly influential, and more travel shopping, planning and booking has shifted to mobile devices”.

Now, following the 2016 US presidential election, the stock market climbed and more consumers travelling. Over 70% of the US online population took a leisure trip in 2017, reports Phocuswright bringing in a new group of travellers compared to previous years.  But, while the leisure traveller population grew in 2017, benefits were not felt equally across all travel segments. While the purchase incidence for some travel products declined, there were gains for others.