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Travel Booking - US - December 2012

“Americans are regaining their confidence in the travel market, and finding they have more income to spend on travel overall. However, despite their positive sentiments, travelersare still driven to make travel bookings in the most budget-friendly, convenient way possible. Given their general propensity to be online, travel providers have more incentive to push the internet as the go-to source for travel booking, associating the tool with perks that are unavailable offline.”

- Gretchen Grabowski, Travel & Leisure Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • Can travel providers and consolidators keep up with online innovations?
  • How can the industry cater to travelers who aren’t booking?
  • Is enough being done to address travelers’ cost concerns?
  • Are travel agents being phased out?

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definitions
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Advertising creative
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                      • Factors driving the market
                        • Growth in travel sentiment may lead to an increase in consumer bookings
                          • Figure 1: U.S. Traveler Sentiment Index, March 2007-October 2012
                          • Figure 2: Global Business Travel Association Business Travel Index Q1 2007-Q4 2013
                        • Americans’ tendency to live online likely driving them book online
                          • Figure 3: U.S. Online sales of leisure and unmanaged business travel, 2009-15
                          • Figure 4: Number of smartphone travel bookers and smartphone bookers as a percent of online travel bookers, 2010-16
                        • Overview of travel research and booking methods
                          • Expedia leads among third party travel consolidators
                            • Figure 5: U.S. consumer visits to select third party travel consolidators’ websites, Aug. 31-Sept. 29, 2012
                          • Travel agents facing an uphill battle
                            • Figure 6: Travel agent usage in the last 12 months, by race/Hispanic origin and age, April 2011-June 2012
                          • Travelers prefer booking directly with providers
                            • Figure 7: Enrollment in frequent flyer and hotel frequent guest programs, by household income, April 2011-June 2012
                          • Core marketing methods
                            • Third party travel consolidators advertising expertise and potential for cost savings
                              • Providers may encourage direct booking by highlighting customer service
                                • Environmental consciousness may lead to a higher incidence of train travel
                                  • The consumer
                                    • Domestic travel booking the most popular
                                      • Figure 8: Travel bookings in the last 12 months and incidence type of most recent travel, August 2012
                                    • Most variance in leisure travel bookings exists between the youngest and oldest
                                      • Figure 9: Booking holiday/leisure travel overall and long and short vacations in the last 12 months, by youngest and oldest age groups, August 2012
                                    • Travelers going online to book all types of travel
                                      • Figure 10: Travel bookers’ transportation, accommodations, tours, and activities booking methods in the last three years, August 2012
                                    • More affluent Americans booking personal travel, choosing separate transactions
                                      • Figure 11: Preferences for booking travel in separate vs. single transactions, by household income, August 2012
                                    • Separate transaction bookers want choice, single transactions prioritize convenience
                                      • Figure 12: Reasons for booking travel in separate vs. single transactions, August 2012
                                    • Consumers want to book travel in the cheapest, most convenient way
                                      • Figure 13: Travel booking considerations about expense and convenience, August 2012
                                    • Cost comparisons an essential pre-booking step for personal travel
                                      • Figure 14: Cost- and time-related opinions about booking travel for personal reasons, August 2012
                                    • What we think
                                    • Issues in the Market

                                        • Can travel providers and consolidators keep up with online innovations?
                                          • How can the industry cater to travelers who aren’t booking?
                                            • Is enough being done to address travelers’ cost concerns?
                                              • Are travel agents being phased out?
                                              • Insights and Opportunities

                                                • Key points
                                                  • More incentives for mobile travel bookings
                                                    • Figure 15: RatesToGo.com mobile booking ad, December 2012
                                                  • Discounts for in-person travel bookings
                                                    • Travel booking “lifelines”
                                                    • Trend Application

                                                        • Inspire Trend: Why Buy
                                                          • Inspire Trend: Life—An Informal Affair
                                                            • Inspire 2015 trends
                                                              • Access Anything, Anywhere
                                                              • Market Drivers

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Traveler confidence may result in more bookings
                                                                    • Figure 16: U.S. Traveler Sentiment Index, March 2007-October 2012
                                                                    • Figure 17: Global Business Travel Association Business Travel Index Q1 2007-Q4 2013
                                                                  • Online activity growth driving internet travel bookings
                                                                    • Figure 18: U.S. Online sales of leisure and unmanaged business travel, 2009-15
                                                                    • Figure 19: Number of smartphone travel bookers and smartphone bookers as a share of online travel bookers, 2010-16
                                                                • Methods of Booking and Researching Travel

                                                                  • Overview
                                                                    • Third party travel consolidators
                                                                      • Figure 20: U.S. consumers monthly visits to select third party travel consolidators’ websites, Aug. 31-Sept. 29, 2012
                                                                    • Expedia
                                                                      • Priceline
                                                                        • Travelocity
                                                                          • Orbitz
                                                                            • KAYAK
                                                                              • Viator
                                                                                • Other third party travel consolidators
                                                                                  • Travel agents
                                                                                    • Figure 21: Travel agent usage in the last 12 months, by race/Hispanic origin and age, April 2011-June 2012
                                                                                  • Direct bookings with travel providers
                                                                                    • Figure 22: Enrollment in frequent flyer and hotel frequent guest programs, by household income, April 2011-June 2012
                                                                                • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Travel providers introduce layaway vacations
                                                                                      • Delta Airlines “reinvents” website for easier digital travel booking
                                                                                        • Figure 23: Delta Airlines “Plan your Escape” trip map, December 2012
                                                                                    • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Print ads position third party travel consolidators as booking experts
                                                                                          • Viator
                                                                                            • Figure 24: Viator print ad, October 2012
                                                                                            • Figure 25: Viator print ad, November 2012
                                                                                          • Orbitz
                                                                                            • Figure 26: Orbitz print ad, October 2012
                                                                                          • Third party travel consolidators also focusing on discounts, savings
                                                                                            • Priceline
                                                                                              • Figure 27: Priceline “Last Wishes” TV ad, January 2012
                                                                                            • Travelocity
                                                                                              • Figure 28: Travelocity “Pay Less” TV ad, January 2012
                                                                                            • Airlines encourage bookings by highlighting customer service, comfort
                                                                                              • Delta Airlines
                                                                                                • Figure 29: Delta Airlines “Expectations” TV ad, September 2012
                                                                                              • Turkish Airlines
                                                                                                • Figure 30: Turkish Airlines print ad, November 2012
                                                                                              • Car rental companies also showing that they can exceed expectations
                                                                                                • Enterprise
                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Enterprise “The Extra Mile” TV ad, December 2011
                                                                                                • Hertz
                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Hertz “Speed of Hertz” TV ad, February 2012
                                                                                                • Direct train bookings environmentally-friendly, relaxing
                                                                                                  • TV
                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Amtrak “Save the Environment” TV ad, February 2012
                                                                                                  • Print
                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Amtrak Vacations 2011-2012 print ad
                                                                                                • Travel Bookings in the Last 12 Months

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Most are booking travel for domestic trips
                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Travel bookings in the last 12 months and incidence of most recent travel, foreign vs. domestic, August 2012
                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Cheapoair domestic flight promotion, November 2012
                                                                                                    • Travel booking not limited by age, but young adults the most inclined
                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Travel bookings in the last 12 months, foreign vs. domestic, by age, August 2012
                                                                                                    • More parents are also traveling
                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Travel bookings in the last 12 months, foreign vs. domestic, by parental status and presence of children in household, August 2012
                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Expedia Arizona family vacation promotion, November 2012
                                                                                                  • Reasons for Booking Travel in the Last 12 Months

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Long leisure vacations the most common reason for booking travel
                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Reasons for booking travel in the last 12 months, August 2012
                                                                                                      • Young more inclined to book short stays, preferences differ by gender
                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Types of holiday/leisure travel booked in the last 12 months, by age, August 2012
                                                                                                        • Figure 42: Types of holiday/leisure travel booked in the last 12 months, by gender and age, August 2012
                                                                                                    • Booking Methods

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Travel options and primary booking methods
                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Incidence of booking transportation, accommodations, and tours/activities in the last three years, August 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 44: Typical ways of booking transportation, accommodation, and tours/activities, August 2012
                                                                                                        • Transportation booking
                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Typical ways of booking transportation, by type of transportation, August 2012
                                                                                                        • Accommodations booking
                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Typical ways of booking accommodation, by type of accommodation, August 2012
                                                                                                        • Tours and activities booking
                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Typical ways of booking tours and activities, by type of tour/activity, August 2012
                                                                                                        • Traveler demographics play role in determining booking tendencies
                                                                                                          • Young going online the most, but opportunities exist for other travel booking methods
                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Incidence of booking transport, accommodation and tours/activities online, by generation, August 2012
                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Typical method of booking accommodation, by age, August 2012
                                                                                                          • Older women more inclined to book airfare online directly with providers
                                                                                                            • Figure 50: Typical method of booking airline transportation, by gender and age, August 2012
                                                                                                          • Other demographic impacts on travel booking habits
                                                                                                          • Preferences for Booking Personal Travel

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • Consumers split in tendencies to book in separate or single transactions
                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Preferences for booking personal travel in separate vs. single transactions, August 2012
                                                                                                              • Those with higher incomes more likely to book separately
                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Preferences for booking personal travel elements in separate vs. single transactions, by household income, August 2012
                                                                                                            • Reasons for Booking in Separate Transactions

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Separate bookings about freedom of choice
                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Reasons for booking travel elements separately, August 2012
                                                                                                                • Millennials more inclined to seek feedback pre-booking
                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Reasons for booking travel elements separately, by generation, August 2012
                                                                                                              • Reasons for Booking in One Transaction

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Single transactions make travel bookings more convenient overall
                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Reasons for booking all travel elements in one transaction, August 2012
                                                                                                                  • Cost savings of single transaction bookings most relevant to young men
                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Reasons for booking all travel elements in one transaction, by gender and age, August 2012
                                                                                                                • Considerations Made for Most Recent Travel Booking

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Concerns about price, convenience driving booking method decisions
                                                                                                                      • Figure 57: Most important considerations when deciding how to book travel, August 2012
                                                                                                                    • Cost primarily a consideration among young women
                                                                                                                      • Figure 58: Most important considerations when deciding how to book travel, by gender and age, August 2012
                                                                                                                  • Opinions About Booking Personal Travel

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Cost comparisons a key to booking personal travel
                                                                                                                        • Figure 59: Opinions about booking travel for personal reasons, August 2012
                                                                                                                      • Going online a timesaver for youngest consumers
                                                                                                                        • Figure 60: Opinions about booking travel for personal reasons, by age, August 2012
                                                                                                                    • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • Asians most inclined to book travel
                                                                                                                          • Figure 61: Travel bookings in the last 12 months, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2012
                                                                                                                        • Fewer blacks, Hispanics booking long vacations
                                                                                                                          • Figure 62: Booking holiday/leisure travel in the last 12 months, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2012
                                                                                                                        • Blacks more inclined to book train, bus travel
                                                                                                                          • Figure 63: Transportation bookings in the last three years, type of transportation, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2012
                                                                                                                        • More blacks, Hispanics booking tours and activities
                                                                                                                          • Figure 64: Typical ways of booking tours and activities, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2012
                                                                                                                        • Hispanics more likely to seek family, friend advice when booking travel
                                                                                                                          • Figure 65: Reasons for booking travel elements separately, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2012
                                                                                                                      • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                          • Figure 66: Travel booking clusters, August 2012
                                                                                                                        • Infrequent Travel Bookers
                                                                                                                          • Demographics
                                                                                                                            • Characteristics
                                                                                                                              • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                • Convenience Travelers
                                                                                                                                  • Demographics
                                                                                                                                    • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                      • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                        • Young and Diverse Travelers
                                                                                                                                          • Demographics
                                                                                                                                            • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                              • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 67: Travel bookings in the last 12 months, domestic vs. foreign, by travel booking clusters, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 68: Reasons for booking travel in the last 12 months, by travel booking clusters, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 69: Travel bookings made in the last three years, transportation, accommodation and tours/activities, by travel booking clusters, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 70: Opinions about booking travel for personal reasons, by travel booking clusters, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 71: Preferences for booking personal travel elements in separate vs. single transactions, by travel booking clusters, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 72: Profile of travel booking clusters, by gender, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 73: Profile of travel booking clusters, by age, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 74: Profile of travel booking clusters, by household income, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 75: Profile of travel booking clusters, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2012
                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                • Travel bookings in the last 12 months
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 76: Travel bookings in the last 12 months, domestic vs. foreign, by gender, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 77: Travel bookings in the last 12 months, domestic vs. foreign, by gender and age, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 78: Travel bookings in the last 12 months, domestic vs. foreign, by household income, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                • Reasons for booking travel in the last 12 months
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 79: Booking family/friend, business, and other travel in the last 12 months, by age, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 80: Booking family/friend, business, and other travel in the last 12 months (any reason), by gender and age, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 81: Booking family/friend, business, and other travel in the last 12 months, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 82: Types of holiday/leisure travel booked in the last 12 months, by household income, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 83: Types of holiday/leisure travel booked in the last 12 months, by parent and presence of children in household, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                • Booking methods
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 84: Typical ways of booking transportation, by type of transportation, by household size, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 85: Typical ways of booking transportation, by type of transportation, by parental status and presence of children in household, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 86: Typical method of booking airline transportation, by gender, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 87: Typical method of booking airline transportation, by age, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 88: Typical ways of booking transportation, by type of transportation, by gender and age, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 89: Typical ways of booking transportation, by type of transportation, by household income, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 90: Typical ways of booking accommodation, by gender, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 91: Typical ways of booking accommodation, by household income, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 92: Typical ways of booking accommodation, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 93: Typical ways of booking tours and activities, by gender, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 94: Typical ways of booking tours and activities, by age, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 95: Typical ways of booking tours and activities, by gender and age, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 96: Typical ways of booking tours and activities, by household income, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                • Preferences for booking personal travel
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 97: Preferences for booking travel elements in separate vs. single transactions, by gender, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 98: Preferences for booking travel elements in separate vs. single transactions, by age, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 99: Preferences for booking travel elements in separate vs. single transactions, by gender and age, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 100: Preferences for booking travel elements in separate vs. single transactions, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 101: Preferences for booking travel elements in single vs. multiple transactions, by parental status and presence of children in household, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                • Reasons for booking in separate transactions
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 102: Reasons for booking travel elements separately, by gender and age, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                • Reasons for booking in one transaction
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 103: Reasons for booking travel elements in one transaction, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 104: Reasons for booking travel elements in one transaction, by generation, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                • Considerations made for most recent travel booking
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 105: Most important considerations when deciding how to book travel, by household income, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 106: Most important considerations when deciding how to book travel, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 107: Most important considerations when deciding how to book travel, by generation, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 108: Most important considerations when deciding how to book travel, by parent and presence of children in household, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                • Opinions about booking travel for personal reasons
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 109: Opinions about booking travel for personal reasons, by gender and age, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 110: Opinions about booking travel for personal reasons, by household income, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 111: Opinions about booking travel for personal reasons, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 112: Opinions about booking travel for personal reasons, by generation, August 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 113: Opinions about booking travel for personal reasons, by parental status and presence of children in household, August 2012
                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                • Adventure Travel & Trade Association
                                                                                                                                                • Delta Air Lines, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                • Global Business Travel Association
                                                                                                                                                • International Trade Administration
                                                                                                                                                • Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
                                                                                                                                                • Orbitz Inc.
                                                                                                                                                • The Hertz Corporation
                                                                                                                                                • Travelocity.com L.P.
                                                                                                                                                • Viator

                                                                                                                                                Travel Booking - US - December 2012

                                                                                                                                                £3,277.28 (Excl.Tax)