Expedia Group has partnered with Wakefield Research to conduct an in-depth study of consumers and travel industry professionals to get a snapshot of traveller preferences.
Insights were paired with first-party data from across Expedia Group travel marketplace. What emerged is a snapshot of today’s travellers’ preferences: what has been changed by the pandemic, what were temporary reactions, and what is still evolving.
For the first time, Expedia Group researchers asked both travellers and industry professionals to give their opinions on travel trends, highlighting common elements but also disagreements. The “Traveller Value Index 2023” is a great tool to help both consumers and the trade to better understand each other. And produce the right products by seizing opportunities.
Two major trends seem now to be permanent features in travellers quest: inclusion and sustainability. Expedia Group research over the last few years repeatedly shows that people are seeking out businesses that are welcoming and accessible.
Seventy percent of people said they are more likely to choose travel options that are more inclusive, even if that comes at a higher cost. Industry professionals acknowledged this preference, with 64% indicating that they believe their customers will choose travel options that are more inclusive, even if they are more expensive.
Nearly eight out of ten (78%) people said they have made a travel choice based on promotions or ads they feel represent them through messaging or visuals. However, only half (52%) of consumers see options that are inclusive of all types of travellers when booking a trip, demonstrating an opportunity for those in the travel industry to fill this gap.
Many travel businesses revealed that they have already taken action: three in five organisations (60%) said they had made changes in the last year to ensure their services are inclusive and accessible, and an additional 21% have plans to do so.
According to Expedia’s recent Sustainable Travel Study, 90% of consumers are looking for sustainable options when traveling. Data from reviews across Expedia traveller brand websites shows terms related to sustainability and eco-friendliness being mentioned twice as often in January 2022 as they were in January 2021. Half of the travellers surveyed said they are willing to pay more for transportation, activities, and lodging if the option was more sustainable, though many agree that it costs too much to be more sustainable when travelling.
Though some people may not want to compromise on cost, more say they are willing to sacrifice convenience and comfort if they know they are making decisions that are ultimately better for the planet. Two in three consumers said that they want more sustainability information from lodging and transportation providers to help them make informed decisions – signifying a clear opportunity for travel businesses.
Sustainability is already turning into a priority for the industry. In fact, it is tied with marketing as the highest area of investment for 2023, with one in five industry professionals saying sustainability will be their top investment priority next year.