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Do Unique Experiences Drive Travel Decisions More Than Prices?

By Dana Cano

The way individuals decide to travel has changed drastically over the last five years. Nowadays, more and more individuals are looking for different sources and influences while making travel decisions.

Gone are the days when individuals walk into a travel agent, pick up a brochure and decide where they want to travel too. According to Expedia Media Solutions market research study, more than 50% of travelers look for inspiration or are often undecided when planning a trip.

“They are looking for inspiration, they’re looking for where to go…they have either no clue or are looking and exchanging different destinations in their minds,” stated Andrew van der Feltz, Senior Director, EMEA & APAC, for Expedia Media Solutions.

Travel inspiration can occur at ay time or in any place as people are influenced by multiple sources including the internet, friends, family or past experiences. Many travelers are open-minded when it comes to travel destinations. In Expedia Media Solutions market research, 65% of travelers are influenced by informative content from brands or destinations. While 90% of travelers may not know where they want to go, they definitely know what they want to do on their trip.


What major influences are driving travel decisions?

Not only is it informative sources that influence the travel decision-making process, it is a large number of other factorstoo. Americans are likely to be influenced by advertisements and appealing deals, but this isn’t necessarily the number one influencer.

Activities and unique experiences are the main drivers of travel choices according to Expedia’s market research with 25% of Americans stating that making travel decisions based on the activities available on the trip is the most important aspect in decision making. This is closely followed by ‘once in a lifetime experiences’ which came in as the second most important aspect.

While budgets, deals and value for money are still important influences in travel destination choices, the most important drivers of a traveler’s decisions are activities, experiences and culture. People would rather spend a little more money to get a unique experience or on activities than choose a low cost destination with very few activities.

“You lead with a message of the experience and what you get from this destination and then bring the deal lower down the funnel,” said Andrew van der Feltz, senior director, EMEA & APAC, for Expedia Media Solutions.

This has caused an increase in the number of travelers visiting unique and unusual destinations, which has in turn, lead travelers to using alternative accommodation and tour options. Consequently, a growing number of travelers are choosing local, unique and off the beaten path experiences instead of the conventional, all-inclusive or package deals.

Arrivedo Neighborhood Guides aim to attract future guests and travelers to book hotels based on the experiences nearby. This gives travelers an insight into local and unique experiences, as told by individuals who have expert knowledge in the area.

If you want more tips on boosting your influence and setting travel trends, download here our FREE ebook: Digital Content Transformation for Travel and Tourism.

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Tags: Destination Marketing Organization, Hotel Group, Mobility Company, Travel Agency, Travel Media

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