PhoCusWright presented at ITB Berlin in March 2011 key findings of its European Consumer Travel Report which provides an overview of the status of consumer travel in three individual markets – the UK, France and Germany.
Their research uncovers some surprises and important differences between these three markets. The European travel markets are extremely varied in nature. The report highlights include the following trends:
– Traffic Forecast: A strong ratio of French consumers plan to travel more versus those who intend to travel less. The German outlook is also positive, though more moderate. UK travellers, in contrast, show a very slight growth trajectory for the upcoming year.
– Proliferation of the Internet in making travel plans: Among those with internet access, just 6% of French travellers, 9% of German travellers and 5% of UK travellers plan and book their trips completely offline.
– Search engines hold the key: When shopping for leisure travel options, the majority of French, German and UK travellers typically use general search engines, which rank first among website categories.
– Price is merely a hygiene factor: Even in today’s price-sensitive environment, the most commonly cited reason to visit a website is a prior positive experience. This was indicated by 38% of respondents in France, 50% in Germany and 51% in the UK.
– Hotels are not the main draw: Only 38% of French travellers surveyed enjoy staying in hotels, compared to 72% of German travellers and 82% of UK travellers.
– Smartphone adoption reaches critical mass: Over a third of travellers now carry mobile phones with web browsing capabilities; 38% do so in France, 37% in Germany and 47% in the UK.
– Mobile travel is small, but growing fast: Fewer than 10% of travellers have performed travel-related activities on their mobile phone in the past year. Yet intentions show that the mobile travel audience will be likely to double in the next 12 months.
Other findings show that the age group with the most leisure time in Europe were the 18 to 24 year-olds who are a very tech-savvy generation.
Check out other tourism and travel trends at: aboutourism.wordpress.com/trendspotting-2011/