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  • 2016 travel trends

7th October 2016

2016 Travel Trends from Google

In 2015, we wrote about Google’s research into smartphone searches in Australia and explained their ‘I want to …’ concept.

Google has just released new research about the ‘path-to-purchase’ for 350 million anonymised travellers from around the world. Google looked at how people research, decide where to go and then make travel plans and purchases.

Their conclusion

The reasons people travel haven’t changed much from year to year, let alone from decade to decade. And yet the paths people travel before they travel have been transformed. Consumers increasingly turn to mobile to get itinerary ideas, compare flight fares, or reserve experiences.

The data
  • 90% of travel bookings are done online but the research before the booking is done on mobiles.
  • People turn to YouTube for ideas and inspiration about where to go, or as Google puts it for their I-want-to-get-away moments.
  • Travel research occurs most on weekends but “bookings aren’t a one-and-done, point-and-click proposition.”
  • Travellers are using mobiles to be spontaneous.
  • Once they make a decision about where they’re going, they start doing mobile searches about the place. What is there to do and see? What’s the weather going to be like?
  • 85% of travellers decide on activities once they reach the destination!
  • 50% of overseas visitors use smartphones to look for things to do once they’ve arrived at their destination.
What do we think this research means for destinations and tourism-related businesses?
  • A well-positioned brand can influence travel decisions. Clear, engaging information about your offering and point of difference is important.
  • A strong mobile presence is essential for being found early and often in the research process.
  • Promoting the destination through video and photos is becoming more critical. So, destinations should create content and encourage visitors to record and share their photos and videos.
  • Visitors will want access to information about what to do, see and visit once they arrive. Again, a strong mobile presence and access is essential.
  • Destinations should make WiFi easy to access and free of charge – especially for overseas visitors, who do not want to incur roaming charges.