Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast: Episode 116 – You’ll Be Shocked By These Insights From The 2019 Leisure Travel Study

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Each year, Fuel publishes a comprehensive leisure travel study that takes a look into why people travel and how they make their purchase decisions. The data revealed by the study offers incredible value to the hospitality industry as it provides a clear picture of what people are looking for when they are performing their travel research.

In this episode of the Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast, the Fueligans breakdown the most surprising and the most important stats from the 2019 study and discuss the biggest opportunities that exist for hoteliers who want to take advantage of this information.

DOWNLOAD THE STUDY: www.fueltravel.com/2019-leisure-tr…l-trends-study/


Here are each of the Fueligan’s top 8 lists:

Phil’s list:

  1. 86.7% Of respondents said they visit the hotel’s website prior to booking. This is much higher than anticipated. To me this means hotels with high percentages of OTA bookings need to evaluate their website and booking engine experience and determine why someone would rather book on an OTA rather than book direct. If it’s not price, it’s almost certainly something off-putting with he experience
  2. almost 44% of respondents said they start their journey on a search engine. This is why you need SEO/PPC. You should also be running on non-brand keywords and use an attribution model that will allow you to see how many of your ads someone views before booking.
  3. I was surprised that people started their decision making process on OTAs and not TripAdvisor. (18.3% on OTAs compared to 4.9% on TripAdvisor)
  4. Between 40-50% of people are checking the hotel’s facebook page prior to booking. How are you managing your facebook page as a hotelier? Are you trying to use it as a tool to drive direct bookings
  5. I expected to see desktop higher than mobile for booking but I expected mobile to be higher than desktop for research and it wasn’t. I was also shocked at the percentage of people who say they use a tablet. That just doesn’t line up with what we see in our data, but it just goes to show that you need a good experience on all devices because people are using them
  6. Reasons people travel? 31% say because they “simply needed a vacation” this was much higher than I thought. We did see write in responses for wedding, anniversary, family reunion. We should include those types of answers next time but I expected those type of answers to be higher than simply needed a vacation. Maybe this is something you can test in your email and adcopy messaging.
  7. 86% of under 35s are booking online compared to 72% overall. This makes me think we will continue to see the percentage of phone bookings continue to drop
  8. only 38% base their travel dates around price. I thought this would be much higher.


Melissa’s List:

  1. 87% of people visited the hotel website
  2. How many sites do they look at? 42% said 3-5 – way lower than what Google says. But also, is this really true? Probably at least 1 OTA, TripAdvisor (62% looked at some type of 3rd party site from another question’s stats), hotel website…but shouldn’t there be more than 1 hotel website?
  3. Mobile apps – Would you use them to…biggest difference in Millennials vs. avg. – a 15-20 point spread across each item
  4. 95.1% believe hotel website reviews
  5. 79% will not book without reading reviews…BUT that’s 4% down from last year
  6. Where do they start research? 44% with search engines – only 5% with TripAdvisor, but most influential more evenly spread
  7. Where are reviews used in process? 37% throughout process
  8. Smart speakers/voice assistant: just not important for hotels right now.


Stuarts List:

  1. 6.7% of all travelers visit the hotel’s website prior to making a booking.
  2. 68.6% do not want a smart speaker in their hotel room.
  3. 81% of under 35s would use a mobile app to check in.
  4. 95.1% trust reviews on the hotel’s own website.
  5. The average number of different websites visited prior to booking is 5.2.
  6. The average time spent planning a leisure vacation is 26 days.
  7. 79% will read reviews prior to booking
  8. 35% will visit a hotel’s Facebook page prior to booking vs. instagram at 12%


Pete’s List:  (he decided to do it in reverse order for some reason)

8 – The number 1 stat on the report is 2019

7 – No one really cares about smart speakers

6 – 50.1% of users are inspired to travel by friends

5 – 66% of all planning is done within 90 days

4 – You only have 26 days to close the sale

3 – 81% want to check in with an app

2 – 51.4% look at your FB profile

1 – 86.7% visit your site before booking


In The Newsaroos:     

  • TripAdvisor: Only Pay for Sponsored Ads if the user reaches the booking engine. Hotel pays for the sponsored ad click based on # of available rooms, market, competition. If the user hits the TripAdvisor property page the Official Site is guaranteed 1st slot. The hotel would then pay for that click also. The cost of that click is based on whatever their set bid is.
  • Expedia Alerting Hotels When Guest Flights Are Delayed:


Submit your questions and topic ideas on Twitter to @_travelboom or info@travelboommarketing.com.

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