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UK holidaymakers among most likely to research trips at least 4 months in advance


TripAdvisor study uncovers fresh insight into how travellers research and book their holidays.

LONDON, UK – The UK is a nation of careful planners, at least when it comes to holidays, a TripAdvisor study can reveal.

Nearly half (46%) of UK holidaygoers planned their last trip at least four months in advance, compared to just a quarter of global travellers (26%). In fact, only Argentinian travellers were more likely than Brits to plan their trip so far in advance.

The findings come from the latest TripBarometer 2016 study, which highlights key factors influencing travellers’ behaviour when researching, planning and booking a trip. The study has identified six typologies of travellers and four types of booking patterns, as well as providing insight into gender, age and income demographics. Conducted on behalf of TripAdvisor by independent research firm Ipsos, the TripBarometer study is the analysis of more than 36,000 global survey responses from travellers. The report offers a unique and detailed view into the modern and complex travel ecosystem, revealing country-level and global travel trends.

Globally, the report found a notable difference in the planning habits of younger and older travellers. Travellers aged between 18- 34 tend to plan their trips much closer to the departure date than those over the age of 55 – in fact, almost half of young travellers (45%) plan their trips with one month or less to go, compared to less than a third of over 55s (31%).

However, older travellers are conversely more likely to cram their research into a short time span – a quarter (25%) of over 55s complete their research in just one or two days, compared to just one in six young travellers (15%).

Over 55s are also more habitual: one in seven (14%) choose a destination because they go there every year, compared to only 7% of 18-34 year olds.

There are significant differences by gender, too. Men are more likely to get their research done quickly – with a quarter (24%) spending just one or two days planning their holidays – while women are more likely to carefully mull over the planning phase: more than a quarter (28%) spend over a month on their research.

Other key UK findings:

  • When it comes to the type of break Brits prefer, the city break comes out on top (77%), followed by a beach holiday (60%) and exploring the history and culture of a destination (67%).
  • UK travellers base their choice of destination on culture (33%), weather (30%) and the cost of flights (19%).
  • The most common destination of choice for British travellers is the UK, with 23% opting to stay in Blighty for their last trip. This is followed by Spain (15%), France (6%) and Greece (6%) respectively.
  • The average spend on the last trip for British travellers was £3,364.

“This year’s TripBarometer study revealed some fascinating differences in the way men and women plan their holidays, and showed that British holidaymakers are much more prone to plan ahead than other nationalities,” said Hayley Coleman, TripAdvisor spokesperson. “Given just how much certain traveller types differ in their planning habits, it is important that hospitality businesses tailor their marketing efforts according to their target audience.”

Needs-based traveller typologies
For the first time, the TripBarometer study has also identified six new typologies of travellers based on travel motivations and behaviours:

  • Value Seekers - “We want to make the most of our holiday”: Often traveling with children, they have a medium income and fall mostly into the 25-34-year-old age group. They particularly value TripAdvisor, babysitting services and Kid clubs, and tend to do their travel research on their smartphone. Beach holidays are a favourite for this typology.
  • Luxury travellers - “We want to enjoy and spend: High earners who go away with their partner, they are most prevalent in the 25-49 age bracket. They like their trips to be hot and sunny, and check TripAdvisor before booking their accommodation. Preferred trips are beach and city breaks.
  • Social travellers - “We want to share and engage with others”: They would never consider taking a trip alone and choose to go away with friends and family. Babysitting services and kid clubs are popular amenities for this group. Very much influenced by word of mouth and recommendations, they tend to prefer beach holidays with friends. They trust TripAdvisor to provide them with hidden treasures and tend to fall into the 25-49-year-old age bracket, with a medium to high income.
  • Independent travellers - “I want it my way”: They love to go away solo and make all their travel choices completely independently. They seek adventure and rely heavily on online research to help them find it. Culture plays an important part in their choice, the climate does not. They are mostly low or high earners, falling in to the 25-49 age bracket.
  • Researchers - “We want it perfect”: They spend a lot of time researching destinations, activities, restaurants and accommodations, usually on laptops, in order to find the best option for them. They are prepared to spend a little extra for something special. They are often high earners in the 25-49 age group who travel with a partner.
  • Habitual travellers - “We want it simple and easy”: They tend to go to the same location over and over again, and therefore spend little time planning or researching. A holiday is more about relaxing than fun. Mostly male, they often go away by themselves and tend to be low earners in the 35-64 age bracket.

“This is the first time we have worked with TripAdvisor to identify six traveller typologies that go beyond demographics to differentiate travellers. In an age where personalisation of service and anticipation of needs differentiates brands, this research sheds light on travellers’ needs and motivations. It allows travel providers to deliver experiences that speak to consumer needs, whether this is empowering families looking for the best deal, allowing social travellers to replay experiences during and after travel or supporting the researchers as they strive to create the perfect travel experience”  Stephen Yap, Head of Customer Research at Ipsos.

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