Google 2013 Traveler – devices, web and travel video impact Nov25


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Google 2013 Traveler – devices, web and travel video impact

 Full source of the study: Google 2013 travel study, Google November 2013

Travel videos inspire the majority of leisure and business travellers to plan their trips, reveals a Google Think Insight study.

The study was conducted among the leisure and business traveller segment to understand how trip planning behaviour has changed over the past year.

Profile of leisure and business travellers

Leisure travellers seek travel inspiration online, anticipate more family travel, and want to stay connected while traveling:

  • 68% began researching online before they decided where to travel versus 65% in 2012.
  • 49% plan to travel more frequently with family in the coming year versus 46% in 2012.
  • 42% are more likely to use their smartphone or tablet for travel related information while on a trip versus 33% in 2012.

Below graph shows the key parameters that leisure travellers consider while selecting a travel destination.

Google Think Insights - Traveller study - Tnooz 1

When it comes to business travellers, they continue to prioritize brand sites, price and convenience. 65% of business travellers book travel directly on brand sites more often than via OTAs, this is a 11% increase from 2012.

For business travellers, the top three key requirements when selecting travel include:

Air travel

  1. Price
  2. Most convenient departure/arrival times
  3. Fewer stops, better connections


  1. Price
  2. Most convenient location
  3. Past experience with establishment

Car Rental

  1. Price
  2. Past experience
  3. Reward/travel points

Apparently, business travellers are more inclined (compared to leisure travellers) towards loyalty program memberships while booking their travel.

Google Think Insights - Traveller study - Tnooz 2

The study shows the leisure and business traveller segments are merging –  57% of business travellers plan to extend a business trip to include leisure time when traveling.

Travel products used by business travellers are changing – 43% of business travellers plan to research or use P2P sharing alternatives, such as Airbnb or Zipcar.

Travel inspiration and planning

Internet remains as a key channel for both trip inspiration and planning. In case of trip inspiration, close connections like family/friends/colleagues take the top spot.

Google Think Insights - Traveller study - Tnooz 3

Travel related search tops the chart among online travel activities by leisure travellers. Among business travellers, travel search activity stands at number three.

58% of leisure travellers always start their travel planning and booking process with search, last year it was at 56%. In case of business travellers, the number is at 64, last year it was at 58%.

Travel review websites take the sixth and seventh place among leisure and business travellers respectively.

Google Think Insights - Traveller study - Tnooz 4

Leisure travellers rely on OTAs for inspiration as well as for destination planning:

  • 51% of leisure travellers visit OTAs at the point when they are considering a few destinations
  • 43% do so when they know exactly where they’re going
  • 6% do so when they are considering many destinations

Google Think Insights - Traveller study - Tnooz 5

When leisure travellers are at a destination, 58% of them rely on online sources to research local activities, below are top sources:

  • 42% – Brochures/Books in my room/house
  • 41% – Destination website/app
  • 41% – Walking around destination
  • 31% – Concierge/staff at accommodation
  • 27% – Other people on trip
  • 25% – Accommodation website/app
  • 22% – TV in my room/house
  • 21% – Other travel websites/apps
  • 14% – Online videos

Trip planning happens across multiple devices

Below graph lists the top ten activities that travellers do when they switch devices.

Google Think Insights - Traveller study - Tnooz 6

Among the respondents who used smartphones for travel planning, 25% of them book their trip via smartphone. Below is the segment-wise breakup:

  • Air: 19%
  • Hotel: 25%
  • Cruise: 29%
  • Car: 25%

75% of respondents book via alternate channels like desktop/tablet, direct call or travel agent.

The study also says that travel brands still deliver sub par mobile experience (another Google study reveals a similar observation in Middle East travel market). Three focus areas for mobile experience improvement are the speed of operation, design and action performed on mobile platform.

When it comes to native app versus mobile website for travel booking, the latter dominates.

Google Think Insights - Traveller study - Tnooz 7

Travel advertisements on smartphones help travellers remember marketers and take action:

  • 68%  of travellers recall ads viewed on smartphones compared to only 59% on desktop
  • 71% of travellers who saw ads on a smartphone took action compared to just 63% on desktop. Below are the top three actions taken by travellers:
    • 30% looked for more information on their device
    • 25% clicked an ad
    • 24% visited the website of the advertiser

Online videos impact on travel planning

Online travel video usage among travellers is increasing. Percentage of travellers who watch online travel videos:

  • 51% of leisure travellers vs 45% in 2012.
  • 69% of business travellers vs 64% in 2012.
  • 55% of affluent travellers vs 50% in 2012.

Below chart talks about what travellers do/think when they watch travel videos.

Google Think Insights - Traveller study - Tnooz 8

Types of travel videos viewed:

  • 62% – Videos made by hotels, airlines, cruises, tours, etc.
  • 59% – Trip reviews from experts
  • 57% – Videos from travel-related channels
  • 55% – Trip reviews from people like me
  • 48% – Videos made by people like me
  • 42% – Commercials/ads from companies/brands
  • 37% – Videos by friends and family

Below chart talks about actions taken by travellers after watching travel videos online.

Google Think Insights - Traveller study - Tnooz 9

40% of leisure travellers film their travel experience and share with others. In case of business travellers, this number is at 48%.

– This article was published on: tnooz