LONDON - Expedia Partner Solutions (EPS), one of the B2B brands of Expedia Group, has found that travel providers are falling short of travelers expectations and failing to deliver on their top priorities, according to its new report ‘Global traveler expectations: how to deliver on what travelers really want’."Global traveler expectations: how to deliver on what travelers really want" is based on an independent survey commissioned by EPS.
Following a survey of 25,000 travelers from 35 countries, EPS is citing competitive pricing – including offers and promotions; responsive, ‘always on’ customer service; and ease of website navigation as highly important in having a positive booking experience. However, those surveyed feel that travel providers aren’t always meeting their needs. In some cases, travel providers are even over-delivering on features such as the quantity of accommodation.
According to EPS, the report demonstrates that, in a world overwhelmed with choice, choice itself can become the friction, which makes it unsurprising that quantity of accommodation is at the bottom of travelers’ lists when it comes to importance.
Key findings of the report include:
A quarter of global travelers wish providers would focus more attention on customer service
When asked for the one thing they wished travel providers would focus attention on, more than a quarter (26%) of all travelers surveyed said that customer service was the priority, second only to more competitive offers and promotions (28%).
Quality and relevancy of accommodation content is a deal breaker for frequent travelers
Of those travelers taking the most trips annually (10+)31% gave the ‘relevancy of accommodations to my needs’ the highest rating of importance within the booking experience. And 34% of this subset attributed this same level of importance to the quality of content that accompanied these accommodation options too, namely, the images and description accompanying a listing.
Ease of website navigation is important for emerging markets 35% of respondents in Africa gave ease of website navigation ‘10 out of 10’ for importance in having a positive booking experience. For the Middle East, this was 30% and for APAC 27%, making it the second highest factor for these three regions. However, only 24% of respondents globally said their travel providers were doing an ‘excellent’ job in creating travel sites which are easy to navigate.
Competitive pricing isn’t top of the wish list globally
The research report noted that North American and European travelers – the latter being amongst the most prolific users of comparison search engines, highly value competitive pricing, with more than a quarter of Europeans (26%) and nearly a third (32%) of North Americans ranking it as the most important element of a positive booking experience. Surprisingly, not all countries put competitive pricing first for importance. For Latin America, Africa and Asia Pacific, competitive pricing is not in the top three rankings.
Isabelle Pinson, VP Marketing, EPS brand, says: “Our research report highlights a disconnect between what travelers most value in a travel provider and what these businesses are delivering. It is crucial that travel providers really understand what drives traveler choices and behaviors because those providers that fine-tune their offering to really match their travelers’ needs are sure to gain a competitive edge and build loyalty. At EPS, we unlock the power of Expedia Group by leveraging billions of global booking data points to shape the solutions we create for our travel partners. This ensures our products offer a seamless booking experience for travelers and strong conversion rates for travel businesses."
“While this report highlights that there are some universal expectations among global travelers that providers need to be aware of, importantly, there are also key differences in priorities, depending on which region travelers are from, how often they travel and the purpose of their trip. Therefore, it’s crucial that travel providers understand the needs of their specific audience to deliver on traveler expectations.”