72% Of U.S. Travelers Choose Destination Based On Personalized Ad

Despite gas prices at an all-time high and airline flight cancelations at record levels, it has become a summer of travel.

Advertising trends data from AdTheorent found 57% of U.S travelers consider themselves “revenge travelers” -- classified as people who make up for lost time due to the pandemic. Some 83% plan to splurge on travel expenses this year, beginning with summer vacations.

The report -- conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of AdTheorent among 2,039 U.S. adults ages 18 and older -- analyzes what the data means for advertisers looking to connect with travelers. It also looks at how brands can use digital ads to personalize the experience for consumers.

Timing is key. Depending on the type of travel arrangements being booked, advertisers must reach travelers at the correct time. Some 54% of travelers say they book an airline flight and 63% book a car rental for domestic travel about one month or less in advance.

Personalized ads work, especially for travelers. Some 72% of travelers who receive a relevant advertisement -- or at least one from a travel company tailored to their preferences -- say they are more likely to visit the destination being advertised. Compare this with the 53% who receive a random ad and would be less likely to visit the destination, 68% who receive a relevant or tailored ad and would have a more favorable opinion of that travel company, and 56% who receive a random ad and would have a less favorable opinion.

Consumers are usually connected to their digital devices. About 82% of travelers use digital devices to research and 77% to book their trips. Some 53% of all travelers are motivated by digital ads to book a vacation that required at least one overnight stay, while 24% are motivated by digital ads including a coupon or special offer, and 23% are motivated by digital ads that are personalized.

Mobile, not surprisingly, is the top device when traveling. Some 86% of travelers use their mobile device while on vacation to research activities, venues and events and make purchases.

Sixty-eight percent of travelers search for activities, restaurants, and events, while 48% use a map or GPS to get from place to place, 47% communicate with family and friends back home, 39% document the trip, and 31% use social media to post about their trip.

The data also identified new styles of travelers such as microcation -- defined as a short leisurely getaway, no more than four nights -- and second-city travel, a trip off the beaten path to swap a destination for a lesser-known area. Some 79% were attracted to microcations, whereas 69% were drawn to second-city travel destinations.

Visiting a destination based on family history and roots has become important too, with 67% saying they will take a ancestry travel vacation.

Some 67% point to cash-free travel trips, while 54% will go it alone; 54% cited a trip involving active and physical experiences such as biking, boating or swimming; 54% cited travel that conserves the environment; 51% will embark to a wellness retreat, corporate retreat, or music festival; and 46% will combine business and leisure travel in one trip.


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