Why do guests book a holiday?

27th February 2020

Attribution in the world of travel – how sales are allocated to strands of the marketing spend – be it a blog, search engine presence, social media activity or even a print advertisement in a magazine (remember them?). It remains a challenge and a fascinating point for discussion in marketing circles.

Can I afford to make a promotional film? Will it generate bookings? Or rather how will I know that it generates bookings?

The excitement and reward of seeing an Instagram sunset go viral and generating thousands of likes and comments, for social media users to then move onto the next post (inevitably involving cat doing something unnatural). Or the well-crafted press coverage which took eight months to curate and publish, only for readers to book different accommodation, or quote an article in a two year old magazine in a dentist’s waiting room when asked how they found out about you.

Technology and machine learning already helps travel marketers make decisions about the right message to the right target market, at the right moment. And a recent “Think with Google” post gave us some fascinating insight into guest behaviour when it comes to travel.

Some of their key findings:

“Travel inspiration is everywhere and the journey to purchase is a full of twists and turns.”

What are the most popular drivers for UK travellers booking a trip:

19% – “I regularly think about trips I want to take.”
19% = “I felt I was due a vacation”.
15% – “I had wanted to travel to a destination for some time”.

So the journey from look to book is long, exciting and possibly tedious, involves different information sources and platforms, and is unique to that user. Attribution of marketing spend may well be spread across five or more campaigns running for 12 months. Or it may be a 10 minute spur of the moment journey for search engine to website to online booking. And everything in-between.

“95% of guests continue to research a location after booking.”

Credit card details entered, booking confirmed, job done. Not quite because this is the point at which travel companies need to begin their work to ensure that guests books again. Delivering the right information at the right time before and during the stay, meeting the needs of that guest and helping them to have a memorable stay is paramount in creating long-standing repeat guests.

“47% did not book because a need was unmet, versus 26% because of price”.

The needs of a guest? Again these are varied and deeply personal to the individual. For Beach Retreats, we survey guests to ensure we are meeting these needs and wants; proximity to the beach and coastal walks, the trust and confidence that we will look after them before during and after their stay, and of course the standard of accommodation they will enjoy.

For the past three months (November to January 2020), guest feedback scored us 100% for the questions “would you recommend us to friends and families?” and “would you book with us again?”.

Contact us to find out how we can help you release the full letting potential of your property and join an industry-leading portfolio of self-catering properties across Cornwall.

Join Beach Retreats.

dog by a sun chair