TravTalk - India

Booking travel not easy: Travelport

Travel ranks high among people’s wishlist, but at the same time they find booking travel a tedious and frustratin­g experience. On average, travellers visit a whopping 38 different websites before booking their trip, according to recent research.

- Nisha Verma

Travelport has unveiled findings of a new survey that highlighte­d excitement to travel in 2022. The study, commission­ed by Travelport and conducted by Toluna Research, polling more than 2,000 respondent­s from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Hong Kong SAR, India, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

It found that people would even be willing to give up some of their favourite things for six months or longer in order to travel. The research saw 71 per cent of respondent­s saying that they would forgo concerts; 64 per cent would stop buying new clothes; 63 per cent would give up spa treatments; 60 per cent would skip the cinema; 53 per cent would give up playing sports; while 36 per cent would stop dining at restaurant­s. “While the last two+ years have been a significan­t challenge, the global travel industry recovered more than 50 per cent of its gross activity by the end of 2021. Should this trend continue along the same trajectory, it could reach 85 per cent recovery by the end of this year. The pent-up desire to travel is strong,” said Jen Catto, Chief Marketing Officer, Travelport.

On the other hand, while the idea of travel saw a high degree of enjoyment, the same wasn’t true for booking the same trip, which involved frustratio­n on behalf of the travellers. The study noted that 43 per cent of US respondent­s, the largest travel region, do not find booking travel enjoyable. However, 95 per cent of that same group enjoy the experience of being on holiday.

Globally, travel was ranked as the number one most enjoyable activity, but when it came to shopping for travel, the industry dropped to the number four spot, trailing the worlds of clothing, restaurant­s and electronic­s. This is not just a generation­al issue. A quarter of Gen Z respondent­s agreed the complexity of searching, comparing and booking travel offers just is not fun.

On average, travellers’ visit a whopping 38 different websites before booking their trip. Other industries have steamed ahead in terms of simplicity and innovation, evolving with their consumers’ sophistica­ted expectatio­ns, and shifting perception­s over time. Study respondent­s found the travel industry to be an outlier. “With demand for travel rebounding at its strongest pace since the pandemic began, it is imperative

With demand for travel rebounding at pace since the pandemic began, it is imperative the industry listens to its customers

the industry listens to its customers. Now is the time to fix travel retail, putting consumer convenienc­e, digital experience, and breadth of choice above all. By restoring clarity, confidence and fun to travel shopping, we can grow trust, generate business and inspire loyalty,” added Catto.

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Chief Marketing Officer, Travelport
Jen Catto Chief Marketing Officer, Travelport

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