The first of the big summer holidays is upon us, and travel marketers may assume it is too late to make much of an impression. But they would be wrong, judging by the 2023 Persado Consumer Travel Study, a survey conducted with Momentive.
Overall, 36% of travelers book one to two months in advance, 32% in one to five months, 8% in six to 11 months and 3% in a year or more. But 22% book a trip less than one month prior to the event—the sweet spot for marketers getting a late start.
Of course, it depends on the cost: $500 trips are more likely to be booked within the month, and $1,000 trips from one to five months in advance.
And, people are motivated by different needs. Here is how they choose their destinations:
And their general motivations for taking vacations are to:
But the sad finding for email teams is that only 6% of bookings are motivated by an email promotion, judging by recent behavior. And 6% are scheduled after a sponsored social media post, and 7% because of an influencer.
Cold email promotion may not succeed in driving many trips, but tailored email responses to requests for information could help prompt bookings.
And of course, email is a useful tool throughout the entire customer journey, for upgrades, cross-sellling, reservations, check-ins and general information.
Indeed, one of piece of very good advice included in this study is to increase the overall order value with personalized, dynamic messaging to offer upgrades.
In general, the study shows that 54% in recent trips traveled by personal vehicle, 18% with a rented vehicle and 46% by plane.
Where do people stay on these adventures? They choose:
Of the trips enjoyed, 50% cost less than $1,000. Most of those were paid for with cash, not credit card, right up to $5,000.
Of the 46% of vacationers paying by credit card, two thirds paid off in full prior to the billing statement, the remainder carrying a balance.
Gen Zers are the most likely to carry credit card balances (47%), Gen Xers the least (22%).
Persado and Momentiv surveyed 600 U.S.-based adults.