The State of the American Traveler – July Report

Our friends at Destination Analysts passed along the newest edition of their extremely informative ‘The State of the American Traveler’ report. You can view the entire report here (.pdf), but here are some interactive-specific highlights:

Plus, be sure to take a look at the larger chart on page 4, for the question ‘In the past 12 months, which of these resources or internet technologies have you used to specifically help plan your leisure travel?’ Some of the results:

UGC Reviews of Hotels – 23.2%
UGC Travel Itinerary or Blog – 16.7%
UGC Destination Reviews – 16.1%
DMO Pages on a Social Media Site – 6.8%
Mobile / PDA To Access Travel Info – 17.2%
Google Earth – 19.2%
Online Travel Videos – 8.8%
Word of Mouth – 32.1%

The numbers that really jump out at me are the 16.7% who used an ‘UGC Itinerary or Blog’ and the 6.8% that used a ‘DMO Page on a Social Media Site.’ Both of those are pretty healthy numbers.

As far as the 17.2% who used a mobile device, I would like to see a deeper analysis into those results. My guess is the majority of those mobile visits are for such activities as checking flights, checking-in for flights and weather, rather than actual requests for decision-making travel info.

‘Google Earth’ seems surprising high, but it should be a little red flag that causes you to examine your organizations possible uses for Google Earth. See our recent post about Walt Disney World.

‘Online Travel Videos’ seems a little low, but I would attribute that to the lack of quality content. The majority of ‘travel videos’ currently online are simply re-purposed TV ads, not useful or informative travel pieces. Once that content becomes available, I would expect to see the number increase.

And finally, remember that while even those online, social, interactive marketing efforts might not result in convenient to track conversions, they could be increasing the ‘word of mouth’ about your destination. Which is still one of, if not the, best way to get your message out.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.