How Can Travel Brands Improve Their Personalized Experiences? Travelers Weigh In.

June 3, 2022

Consumers around the world may be cutting their spending on travel this year, both domestically and internationally, but a majority of American adults plan to take a trip, according to survey results from Redpoint Global. These travelers have expectations for a strong digital experience that for some, will need to improve on what they’ve experienced in the past.

Among the 1,000 US adults surveyed in April, 15% share said they had already booked and taken a trip this year, while another 31% had a trip booked but were yet to take it. Among the remaining 54% of respondents, the majority (31% overall) planned to book a trip, leaving fewer than one-quarter (23%) who did not have any trips booked and did not plan to book any.

Among those who planned to travel outside their state this year, a road trip by car (59%) was the most common method of travel planned, followed by plane travel (48%). The top concern for travelers this year is health and safety, followed by the overall cost of travel.

Travel brands could improve the experiences they provide their customers, per the report. Some of the most oft-cited unsatisfactory experiences when traveling last year included poor communication of logistical changes with a travel brand, frustrations with a travel company’s communications around expired points/miles or cancellation/refund policies, and frustrations surrounding brands sending irrelevant offers.

It follows, then, that travel brands can better personalize their messaging to satisfy travelers, and two-thirds (66%) say they do want personalized communications regarding travel. In order to better personalize travel experiences this year, the adults surveyed indicated that travel brands should offer, among others:

  • Personalized safety recommendations from travel vendors when booking (28%)
  • Personalized offers to enhance their travel experience (27%)
  • Personalization that is consistent across all channels, such as kiosk, website, mobile app (20%)
  • Personalized follow-up regarding travel issues and overall satisfaction (20%).

Furthermore, when traveling this year, some respondents expect a consistent experience across all communications channels, while others are looking for real-time personalized messages and notifications regarding the context of their journey.

Travel brands may want to turn to machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) for help with personalization, as more than 8 in 10 travel marketers responding to a recent survey indicated that these technologies are a very high or high priority for them.

Meanwhile, given that Americans prefer to book travel online than in-person, digitization of experiences is a must. When traveling this year, US adults expect to be able to easily communicate with travel companies through preferred digital channels (35%), and also expect disclosure of how their data/personal information is being used (30%). Others expect digital check-in/check-out processes at hotels (28%) and digital boarding pass and pre-check in options for flights (27%). Few expect virtual tours of the hotel/destination (13%) or delivery robots that deliver services/food in the hotel (9%).

Overall, about 1 in 4 (27% of) respondents believe that travel companies are effective at delivering personalized, consistent and seamless experiences and recommendations at all phases of the journey, including pre-trip, during the trip, and post-trip. About one-third (35% share) feel that travel companies are effective during the pre-trip phase, but that their experiences drop off once the trip is booked. Some 15% share expect personalization but feel that travel brands aren’t effective at it, while for the remaining quarter (24% share), travel brands are not seen as effective at delivering personalized experiences but are also not expected to be.

About the Data: The results are based on an April survey of 1,000 US adults, conducted by Dynata.

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