What makes travelers click, tap, and swipe?

Alexandre Jorre

Vice President, Commercial Latin America, Online Travel, Amadeus

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In today’s digital world, travelers have the power. They define what, where, when and how to interact with travel brands online. The reality is, those companies looking to win in the online travel space face an all-empowered traveler who strives for rich and personalized travel content, in one place, at the best price, and, at the click of a button.

But what does it take to deliver this kind of experience in a complex and crowded marketplace? Understanding consumer preferences, cultural nuances and market dynamics could be the key to crack the online travel labyrinth and connect with travelers at a whole new level.

For example – despite living in a digital age, did you know that the majority of Argentinians still prefer to get recommendations for their next holiday destination from family and friends? So, the question is, which channel do they use to get those recommendations? Rather than impulse buy, most like to plan their holiday months in advance, especially for a longer holiday. And more than a third will abandon their online bookings because of hidden fees and charges on websites? 

These are valuable tips for any online travel agency (OTA). In fact, they are part of our new series of reports, Digital Footprints, that will run across 12 markets, from Argentina to Indonesia. Argentina is the first market we are researching in the series, and is home to some of the biggest names in online travel in Latin America. Each report draws on insights from local leisure travelers, and by going straight to the source - the traveler - we unveil what makes a great travel booking experience online as well as some of the frustrations they face along the way.  

What are the drivers to choosing an online travel seller? Who influences travelers when searching for a destination? Which channels do they choose to make a booking, and how do they want to pay for travel? These are just some of the questions we have asked over 1,000 Argentinian leisure travelers who book online. We then categorized the findings into three areas - Travel Inspiration, Planning and Booking, and Travel and the Environment.  Here are some of the key findings we saw from:

Close connections or trusted websites key for inspiration

When searching for their next holiday destination, 59% of Argentinians are likely to take recommendations from family or friends, while 58% refer to travel blogs or websites and 31% take inspiration from social media influencers. Most Argentinian adults (67%) sampled still prefer to use a PC or laptop compared to a mobile phone when browsing offers online. 

Travelers start their research months in advance

Two thirds of those surveyed said they find researching and booking trips quicker than two years ago. But despite the increasingly easy nature of online travel booking, the typical Argentine traveler will leave plenty of time to get trips organized - leisure travelers begin researching an average of four to five months ahead of departure, especially for longer holidays.

Transparency in pricing is crucial to avoid cart abandonment

The most important factor in the selection of an online travel agency for most Argentinians was value for money. It was the leading reason at 68%.  Ease of payment (52%) and traveler reviews (35%) were also important to those surveyed. Research showed that transparency is crucial for Argentina OTAs to drive sales online, as over a third of respondents were found to have completely abandoned an online booking because of hidden fees and charges. 

Ultimately, it’s all about navigating this complexity to deliver an experience that travelers truly want – and we’re committed to helping travel sellers do just that. 

Want to find out more? Download a copy of Digital Footprints: Discovering Online Travel Needs in Argentina and look out for other market reports that will be published in the coming weeks here.

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