How do North American travelers find inspiration in the digital age?

Alix Argüelles

Vice President, North America, Online Travel, Amadeus

This content is only available in this language.

In this digital world, change and disruption is the order of the day. Meeting the all-empowered traveler, who wants to navigate effortlessly between channels and is demanding a tailored experience anytime, anywhere can be a daunting task. If the travel retailer misses the mark, it may cost them dearly. This is the reality that online travel agencies now face as they arm themselves for further digital transformation.

With the online travel market evolving rapidly, there has never been a better time to check the pulse of traveler needs. What options are travelers really looking for when choosing to book their well-earned vacation? What attracts them, and what gets in the way of building a lasting customer relationship?

The answers to these and many other strategic questions are uncovered in our Digital Footprints series of reports.

Running across 12 markets, from the US to Indonesia, each report draws insights from local leisure travelers to uncover what makes a great travel booking experience online. Through a survey commissioned by Amadeus, and answered by over 2000 US and Canadian travelers, the North America report gives a fresh snapshot of traveler behavior and sentiment. Here are some highlights:

Social media is the key to travel inspiration, while digital channels rule

About 68% of travelers look to blogs, vloggers or influencers for inspiration or information when planning a vacation or a trip away. Social media plays a key role in travel decision-making when it comes to North Americans. According to the survey, 10% of respondents claimed they looked to social media for travel inspiration every time they planned a trip. That figure increased to 17% among those aged 18-34. When it comes to choice of device, 63% of North Americans use a PC or laptop and 23% use mobile when browsing offers and destinations.

The importance of ‘good value for money’

When choosing an online travel agency, value for money stood out as the most important factor for 70% of all travelers. While 32% considered a well-known and trusted site as being important, finding the best price was ultimately the deciding factor. Hidden fees and charges are a significant factor for a drop-off in bookings too - with 30% of respondents claiming that they had abandoned an online booking due to this.

For a more personalized trip, travelers are ready to share data

Personalization is the name of the game with 56% of respondents saying they would like to be provided with more personalized travel options. 46% said they would be willing to share personal data in order to achieve this. About 66% said they would join a travel loyalty club if it meant they received more personalized offers and discounts. Being able to tailor the flight experience, including selecting seats and choosing meals, was considered important by over 80% of Americans and Canadians surveyed.

Travelers want to know more environmentally friendly travel options

Sustainable travel was not seen to be top of mind for our US and Canadian travelers, with only 45% of respondents saying they are concerned about travel’s impact on the environment. However, 60% of travelers said that they would opt for a more environmentally friendly option if it was equal to their preferred choices.

Digital Footprints: Discovering online travel needs builds on Amadeus’ ongoing commitment to help online players thrive in an ever-expanding marketplace and deliver an experience that travelers truly want. It will equip online travel companies looking to evolve, expand and explore new opportunities for growth, including the importance of mobile, preferred methods of payment and how social influencers are impacting the digital marketing mix, among others.

Want to know more? Download a copy of Digital Footprints: Discovering Online Travel Needs in North America. See the report for Argentina as well as other market reports that will be published herein the coming weeks and months.

Download the research report

Download now


Leisure Travel, Live Travel Space, Traveler Experience, Travel Search, Research