Look Alive, Travel Marketers—Vacations Ahoy!

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Safe travels marketers
Safe travels marketers

“Happy Friday!” means so much more on the eve of Memorial Day weekend. While marketers prepare to relish in the impending three-day weekend, the rest of the world is about to enter travel season in earnest—bringing new opportunities to reach a vibrant segment of customers.

With 85% of U.S. travelers looking online for deals, travel marketers may want to ensure that both their deals and digital offerings are up to snuff, according to a new study from Parago, a rewards-based incentives company.

The study, which surveyed nearly 1,200 travel customers online throughout last month, found that 56% of those surveyed are more likely to travel if they can find great deals. “Consumers at all income levels are hungry for travel deals, especially online. Not surprisingly, these consumers would travel more if able to find good bargains,” said Theresa Wabler, Parago's VP of global marketing. “To build loyalty with the frugal and savvy American traveler, companies would be wise to pair discounts with additional offers for more travel.”

According to the study, 90% of people take one or more personal trips per year and 57% of them start their planning through Google and other search engines. Planning and booking trips through travel sites and travel agents is significantly less popular than in the past, with only 13% and 2%, respectively, utilizing those channels.

Offers for a free checked bag proved more motivating than rewards for future trips for 59% of air travelers, while including prepaid cards was most incentivizing for cruise, hotel, and resort customers. Rewards and loyalty programs were much more popular with the affluent and seniors, with nearly 70% of people 60 or older belonging to loyalty programs. More than 71% of people with an annual income of at least $100,000 belong to travel loyalty programs, while 88% of those making more than $200,000 are travel loyalty members. Only 31% of 20-somethings belong to loyalty programs.

Seventy-nine percent of vacation travelers rarely, if ever, purchase airline and hotel travel packages, and 6% of travelers purchase accommodations as a bundled deal.

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