Optimization, Personalization & Testing

Persado Study Highlights Missed Opportunities for Travel Marketers

While consumers are prioritizing travel again, less than 20% are influenced to book by marketing campaigns

Persado, the Motivation Artificial Intelligence (AI) company that generates personalized communications at scale, today published a study about modern-day consumer travel habits, identifying how often consumers are traveling, what’s motivating them to book trips, and the considerations they make when doing so. According to the study, consumer debt impacts travel plans — 34% of consumers limit their travel frequency due to debt and 25% go for less expensive trips — yet people are still prioritizing travel. In fact, 75% are planning to take the same or more vacations in 2023 than they did in 2022.

The 2023 Persado Consumer Travel Study report is available today. The report summarizes findings from a survey of 600 U.S.-based adults aged 18-56, administered in late March by data and analysis firm Momentive, and reveals that while people are still booking travel, motivating them to make travel decisions through digital marketing is challenging.

Key findings include:

  • Consumers plan to travel as much (or more) in 2023 as they did in 2022: Despite continued trouble in the economy, consumers continue to prioritize travel in their budgets. On average, each person surveyed took just shy of 4 trips of more than 120 miles in 2022 and plan the same or more for this year.
  • Word of mouth, familiarity trump marketing efforts: A total of 84% of respondents chose their last travel destination because of personal ties: 25% went by family/friend invitation, 23% traveled to visit friends/family nearby, 21% visited a repeat destination, and 15% were recommended the destination by a person they trust. Just 19% were influenced by digital marketing-driven campaigns (social influencers, email promotions, sponsored social media posts).
  • Escaping from a routine motivates travel the most: The vast majority of people are traveling for a reason intrinsically tied to emotion: 34% do so to escape their day-to-day routines, 25% to reconnect with loved ones, and 25% to journey out with friends.
  • Personal debt isn’t holding travelers back: While 50% of those ages 41-56 (Gen X) noted cost as the biggest barrier preventing them from traveling now, they were more than twice as likely as those ages 18-24 (Gen Z) to carry a credit card balance following their billing statement after paying for a trip.

“Most travel and hospitality brands invest significantly in personalizing their digital booking experience, yet neglect their checkout page, a critical component of the booking journey,” explained Alex Olesen, VP of Vertical Strategy and Product Marketing at Persado. “There’s a massive opportunity to enlist cutting-edge AI technology to understand customers’ individual emotional drivers and create language that is proven to excite them to book and increase lifetime customer value.”

Using Generative AI to Speak to Travelers and Increase Bookings

Persado is trusted by leading airlines, hotels and booking agencies to enhance connections with customers by generating emotion-aware marketing language that motivates action. Just released, Persado Dynamic Motivation uses a brand’s automatically anonymized web session data, combined with Persado’s vast knowledge base of enterprise marketing language and automated decisioning, to dynamically deliver the best words and phrases that motivate each customer to act. By leveraging Generative AI to create original, on-brand words and phrases and personalize the online booking journey, Persado Dynamic Motivation helps brands motivate guests to book their next adventure and upgrade—increasing revenue by 3-5%.

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