The rise of the internet
There has undoubtedly been a trend away from travel agency booked travel towards ‘do-it-yourself’ travel. The internet and rise of mobile technology have opened up so many more possibilities, making both research and online booking far more accessible to travellers, enabling them to tailor their trips and potentially save money. However, this has also led to information overload. With so much choice and so many different ways to book available nowadays, the process of researching, booking and refining a holiday can become quite overwhelming and deceptively time-consuming.
It does of course gives you the flexibility to find local experiences, boutique hotels and the best deals, often not found when using a travel agent. But, where do you begin?
Whether you want to go somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, read about online or been recommended by a friend, starting to plan your holiday will always begin with some initial research.
One of the world’s largest travel technology companies, Amadeus, suggests that up to 60% of people now book their own travel. This will normally begin with reading reviews online, many from the likes of TripAdvisor. According to Tripadvisors own fact sheet, as of November 2015 they had 320 million reviews posted to their website and are getting 200 new contributions every minute. That’s one massive mine field to try to navigate your way through. Research by the online technology news site Tnooz, shows leisure travellers spend an average of 30 minutes reading reviews before booking and 10% of travellers spend more than one hour reading reviews, with 70% looking at up to 20 reviews in the planning phase.
Further research by Expedia shows that some consumers visit up to 38 sites before booking travel. This is certainly at the top end and in the latest travel advisory report from Webtrends, the average is pegged at 6.5 websites. This certainly leaves a major disparity between the numbers of websites and reviews available and the average number people will visit.
It is no wonder that people get frustrated and research here in Australia by Kayak.com.au showed that 31% of people actually abandon their search half way through, saying it takes too long.
(Remarkably, the survey also revealed that 27 per cent of Australians spend less time deciding on a location to live than booking an overseas trip!)
How much is your time worth to you to invest in researching and booking your holiday and trying to navigate your way through information overload?
Here at My World Travel Concierge, we combine travel agent expertise with the flexibility of the internet and a lifetime of global travel experience with a passion to share our knowledge to always find you the best value deal, saving you both time and money.