How Do Travel Consumers Choose Their Travel Destination?

For many travellers, picking where to go on their next trip can be just as exciting as getting there. Looking specifically at digital travel shoppers in the U.K., U.S. and Canada, it is apparent that choosing a destination is a lengthy and involved process.

For destination marketers in particular, there are several key findings from the research on digital travel consumers in the U.K., U.S. and Canada that can inform an integrated marketing strategy.

• Travellers frequently begin their research with more than one destination in mind. More than half of travel consumers in the U.K. and Canada begin researching with multiple destinations. In the U.S., more than one-third of consumers consider several locations initially.

• Overall, recommendations from friends and family and online travel agencies are the most influential resources in the destination selection process.des3
• When it comes to making the final destination decision, cost and hotel/accommodation options are the most crucial factors.
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• Digital users in the U.K., U.S. and Canada consume a vast amount of travel content online. U.K. digital users consume the most travel content at 75%, followed by 70% of Canadian digital users and more than 60% of U.S. digital users.
Across all markets, there is significant year-over-year growth in terms of the amount of time spent on digital travel content per month — 44% in the U.K., 41% in the U.S., and 18% in Canada.
• Recall of online travel advertising is high. In the U.K., 59% of travel bookers recall travel ads compared to 47% in the U.S. and 64% in Canada.

For consumers who are considering multiple destinations, advertising is influential. Thirty percent of U.K. travel shoppers, 27% of those in the U.S. and 38% of Canadian travel shoppers report that advertising swayed their destination decision.


As digital travel content consumption continues to grow year over year across markets, marketers are poised to connect with qualified consumers with timely, relevant messages that can successfully influence destination decisions.

Source: ‘Destination selection during the traveller’s path to purchase’, Expedia Media Solutions

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