People don’t just go on holiday anymore. Well they do, obviously, but when they’re on holiday they aren’t just sipping a Pina Colada and relishing the sunshine. They are tweeting, Facebooking and generally sharing their holiday experience with everyone they know. In short, the connected tourist has landed.

It is a no brainer to say that the internet and social media have overhauled how people research and book their holiday. But key to the travel industry being able to target holidaymakers with relevant content is an understanding of what influences them, where they are spending their money and the destinations they most covet.

We pulled together a natty infographic to help answer these questions (please see below). There are some top line stats that are worth pulling out. Firstly, and perhaps unsurprisingly, is that 57% of people now purchase their holiday online but a quarter of people still remain loyal to the trusty high street. Interestingly 16% of all travellers use their mobile to book trips, a figure that rises to 33% amongst frequent travellers. Making sure your content is accessible across digital and non-digital channels remains important.

The connected traveller also has a good nose for a deal and 64% are influenced by deals and promotions. But there is great diversity in the online sources that consumers are purchasing through. The majority (49%) are using trusted content sites such as trip advisor, followed by search (13%) and price comparison sites (12%) with cash back sites, voucher codes, display and email mopping up the stragglers. Whilst cash back sites might not account a high percentage of consumer spend, shoppers spend the most via cash back sites than any other online resource.

Top Destinations

So where are all these digitally savvy people heading? Well, the top destination by visitor number is London but the fastest growing destination is Rio de Janeiro. The Olympic effect perhaps? Once people are home and have put their washing on, they aren’t crashing on the sofa with a cuppa. Oh no, the connected tourist is all about sharing their experience. 50% share details once home and whilst away, 39% post their travel experiences on social channels and 55% like Facebook pages relating to their trip. As a tour operator, hotel or car rental company you’d best hope you are living up to consumers expectations. If you aren’t, everyone is going to know about it

With technology changing the face of how we research, purchase and share our holidays, how can the travel industry keep up with the pace of change? Here are our top tips:

  • Provide customers with detailed information and peer reviews to encourage them to stay on your site and make the purchase
  • Tailor content and keep abreast of new traveller trends
  • Stay competitive in the cash back sector whilst developing a voucher code offering as travellers spend the most through these channels
  • Ensure your content is optimised for a broad range of devices
  • Steal the march on competitors by featuring upcoming destination information
  • Make sure your product feed is working and provide detailed information such as descriptions, photos and prices so that partners can customise to their needs

Affilinet Online Travel Barometer