As travel continues to rebound from the pandemic, Americans are optimistic about booking travel for the rest of 2022 and into the new year. While some are continuing to make most of their bookings through OTAs, many are booking directly with hotels and airlines to take advantage of better rates and exclusive perks. Our recent survey of over 1,000 Americans showed 39% of travelers continue to book vacations through OTAs while 43% still book direct.
With more travelers back on the road, OTAs can be a catalyst for any airline or hotel’s affiliate revenue growth. Here are some trends to keep in mind when reaching today’s travelers:
Travelers are spending more while still looking for deals.
Despite prices on all things travel continuing to increase, 44% of Americans claimed they would still rather pay more than change their travel plans or lower the quality of their trips. That doesn’t mean they’re not hunting for deals—quite the contrary. Travelers still want to get the most value for their money and they are searching OTAs and coupon sites to find the best deals for their bookings.
More than half of travelers who use OTAs are also actively visiting coupon focused websites before making purchases, compared to 39% who are more passive coupon users. Keeping this behavior in mind, OTAs can promote special deals to reel in travelers who may typically book direct and partner with coupon publishers to reach a key audience.
Cashback is the preferred way to save on travel.
In addition to coupons, OTA users are also more likely to seek cashback rewards as their preferred way to save. Almost 85% of travelers who use OTAs are also members of online reward sites. While booking direct accommodations can include perks like room upgrades and breakfast packages, travelers say that getting cashback on a large purchase is more enticing. By partnering with a diverse publisher mix, OTAs can bring in more bookings while still offering travelers additional value on their trips.
Booking convenience is top priority.
While direct accommodations can offer travelers unique perks and exclusive rates, Americans said they prefer convenient booking options over a lower rate. This is great news for aggregators. OTAs are already in a position to win more customers and drive bookings during the travel comeback, especially with new partnership opportunities for content, influencer, and paid placements as part of a full-funnel approach to affiliate marketing.
To learn more about how travelers are booking trips, download our latest report Engaging Today’s Travelers.