Stats from Google on Travel and Online Travel Research

The following stats were shared by Haley Knowlton Gribben, an Adwords Account Manager from Google. She presented at the Vacation Rental Manager Association’s Annual Conference on October 10th in Orlando.

It was a fast-paced and informative presentation. Thanks Haley.  These are my hastily scribbled notes:

Vacation Rental Search Becomes More Popular:

  • 42% Year to Year growth for popular vacation rental queries at Google.com
  • 34% growth in overall travel terms

10.2 sources being used by travellers in 2011 for their travel decision making process

  • 27% read email from a travel company
  • 85% searched with a search engine
  • 49% searched online hotel reviews
  • 37% read online travel reviews
  • 25% read online comments

Travel Purchase Timeframe and Planning Window: Most travellers began thinking about the travel purchase at least one month before taking their trip.

  • 8% 4-6 months before
  • 24% 2-3 months before
  • 21% 1 month before
  • 10% 3 weeks before

Affluent Travelers:

  • 80% of affluent travelers actually comparison shop “always or frequently”
  • This is more than personal or business segment travelers
  • The amount spent on the travel positively correlates with amount of research
  • “Research intensity increases with travel spend” [Read more...]

Leisure Travel Statistics

The State of the American Traveler (July 2010) by Destination Analysts is a beautiful 4 page pdf full of stats about the mindset, travel plans, favorite activities and more for the leisure traveller

They devote an entire page to some interesting online marketing stats.  Here is an overview of some of teh most relevant.

  • 42.9% used user-generated content.
    • 27% used hotel reviews
    • 21.4% used destination reviews
    • 19.8% used restaurant or activity reviews
  • 26.2% used social media for travel planning.
    • 8.2% became a fan of a city or destination
    • 7.8% used social photo sharing website
  • 28% used a mobile phone/PDA to access travel info
  • 15% used a travel-related e-mail newsletter
  • 31.2% used a DMO website
  • 16.6% used online video

Here is a screen on respondents answers to the question “Which of the following did you specifically do using your mobile device” (select all that apply, asked only of those using mobile phones/PDA to access travel information)

Search Remains the Number One Planning Source for Leisure Travel

According to a Google study of 5,000 Personal and Business Travelers:

Planning Source for Travel

  • Search Engines.  62% for personal travel and 55% for business travel
  • Hotel Websites 53% for personal travel and 69% for business travel
  • Destination  Specific Websites 37% for personal travel and 31% for business travel
  • Social Networking Sites 16% for personal travel and 19% for business travel

Mobile and Video Usage Research Statistics for Travellers

Based on a recent survey that Google conducted with OTX:

  • 40% of business travelers said they used a mobile device to access online travel info; this was up from 25% just a year ago.
  • 86% of personal travelers and 90% of business travelers watch video online.
  • 63% of male business travellers and 58% of females told us they watched travel-specific content for a variety of different purposes: choosing destinations, organizing activities, making accommodation decisions, and more.

Google Mobile search volume has grown by 400% in the last year