The desire to travel continues to increase, and consumers are ready to spend and search for deals.
Rakuten Advertising’s recent travel research shows 44% of travelers plan to spend more on vacations this year, rather than downgrade the trip. Three-quarters plan to stay in the U.S. when traveling during the next six months, with the remainder planning to traveling internationally.
About 89% said they will seek ad incentives when making purchases to lower the price of the trip, whereas 33% will search for deals, rewards or discounts. Seventy percent of summer and fall travelers plan to spend under $2,000. Those planning to travel in 2023 are open to spending up to or more than $10,000.
“People are doing a lot of research to gather information before they travel,” says Anthony Capano, managing director, North America at Rakuten Advertising Services. “They are searching for information from affiliate sites and engaging with influencers to make purchase decisions.”
Capano says it’s important for marketers to keep the message “authentic” when addressing consumers who want to travel. “It will require a diverse strategy as the travel sector bounces back,” he adds.
Brands are benefitting from consumers searching for affiliate channels and loyalty sites, especially when looking for hotel accommodations. Brands and other companies need to invest in diverse partners, from travel blogs to influencers, he said.
The top three influencers related by generation include:
Hotels in the past year have seen an increase in brand loyalty from customers, with most travelers researching and/or booking accommodations with loyalty programs. Some 49% of Americans have booked a hotel stay directly through the brand’s website or app, while 39% still book through an online travel aggregator.
Hotel rooms have the highest percentage of people who still consider and have made an upgrade, with nearly 60% of travelers actively or sometimes seeking hotel rewards.
Cruise lines struggled to make a comeback since 2020, but travelers are looking further out to book their journeys in 2023.
Some 83% of travelers do not have a cruise vacation booked in 2022. Only 16% have one booked in 2022 or 2023, and I am in that minority.
Another interesting piece of data is that travelers are 15% more likely to purchase a premium seat than they were pre-pandemic.