Almost half of Britons plan on taking a Staycation in 2021, with a quarter intending to go abroad and 13% saying they’ll do both, according to new research commissioned by Hop Software – signalling increasing consumer confidence in travel.
However, with the market picking up pace, 42% of the British public say their biggest turn off when booking a holiday online is hidden costs, while 33% are worried about prices increasing before having the chance to book. This comes as travel bosses warned last week that travel costs are set to jump this summer.
The study of 2,000 UK consumers by the cloud-based Property Management System provider also found that over 1 in 4 respondents are put off booking online by a lack of COVID cover options and 21% are worried about restricted availability dates for hotels. Since the introduction of GDPR, Britons have a heightened awareness of data collection, with almost one in five admitting to being turned off by lots of personal information being collected whilst booking online. A further one in five were put off by confusing websites, demonstrating an increasing need for the industry to invest in its digital presence.
The same research also asked respondents about what would make them more likely to book a trip online, with almost half saying that an easy-to-use website would have the most positive impact. Online content was also an important factor, with a third saying that high-quality photography and local attractions or maps being included on the website would encourage them to book.
Commenting on the findings, Richard Drummond, COO of Hop, said: “We know that the British public are eager to begin travelling, socialising and returning to some normality, which is fantastic news for hoteliers. However, consumer habits have changed and it’s clear from our research that there are number of factors impacting whether a consumer would book a holiday online – many of which are easy fixes – so it is vital that hoteliers take these onboard and adapt accordingly.”
The insights from the report also showed that the main method for researching holidays are search engines, with over half of consumers using these as their main method, compared to just 15% that rely on traditional travel agents. The impact of social media and popular culture is apparent in younger generations, with 45% of 16–24-year-olds using Facebook and Instagram as their main research method and 14% selecting their destination based on locations they have seen on television or Netflix.
“The importance of search engines in the research process has always been clear, but it’s also interesting to note how much of an impact social media and pop culture is having on younger people when it comes to doing their initial research. With this in mind, hoteliers that are keen to attract a younger audience must increase awareness of their brand via social media, as well as enhancing their digital front door to increase profitability,” Drummond continued.
‘The 2021 holiday boom: what Britons are looking for’ report can be downloaded in full here.