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What consumers really want from online travel sites

What consumers really want from online travel sites

Half of all travellers have struggled with poorly constructed, confusing and inaccurate websites that don’t provide them with sufficient images and information, according to a new survey from eDigitalResearch.

Consumers are also increasingly frustrated by out-of-date information, hidden fees and misleading descriptions, as well as technology-related issues such as slow downloads and broken links.

The survey revealed that consumers are still primarily influenced by price when deciding on a holiday, according to a new survey into online travel sites from.

However, users also have additional information needs that change at each stage of the booking cycle.

At the planning stage, images of the accommodation and a written description of the destination proved to be the most important factor in the process, closely followed by information on activities, events and maps. 

At the time of booking, three pieces of information ranked as almost equally crucial, with airport and transport information on a par with pictures of the room and a guide to the city or resort.  

Post-booking, a map of the destination was ranked as the most essential item of online content, with travel, weather, events and activities information and local dining also ranked as important.

“Every statistic we have seen this year shows that people are considering their travel plans for longer and booking closer to departure than ever before," said Joel Brandon Bravo, general manager of Frommer’s Unlimited who commissioned the research.

"So we feel this research will really help travel providers to understand exactly what content and tools they need to use to influence consumers in a very fast-changing market.”

Dominic Bean head of business development for eDigitalResearch, added that his company were concerned but not surprised by the dissatisfaction shown by travellers’ experiences online.

"We regularly research and report on the consumer experience of using major high street retailers’ websites and have seen online standards in general retailing transform in the past two years," he said.

"It appears that travel has a long way to go to match these levels of online service.”


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