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Social Media and Mobile in Travel Distribution Report:

Online strategies, consumer and industry trends 2013

Learn how Mobile and Social Media are changing the face of travel and how you can implement a suitable strategy for your organisation

Social media and mobile have moved from hype to measurable and vital money making tools. This part of your business is not static. New tangible benefits evolve and abound. To help you get a data-driven advantage over your competition this report contains an in-depth analysis of the following topics: 

  • How social media and mobile is growing and changing travel distribution – A detailed look at how mobile and social media tools sell travel and what's coming next
  • How mobile is changing how your customers research, search and book your products – Mobile accounts for  20% of all travel sales. Lastminute, mobile enabled sales are a huge growth market. Understand where mobile impacts price, search, inspiration, customer service, ancillary revenue and booking. Your business model is chaging. Understand why?
  • What content are your customers looking to see on their mobile when they interact with your brand -  native language, geolocation, payment, social content what is important for your product and your market
  • Data - what can mobile and social media tell you about your customers and enable you to sell more

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The Social Media and Mobile in Travel Distribution Report is the culmination of:

  • 30+ Industry Interviews with leading travel brands
  • Real-world, detailed case studies involving real world travel brands
  • Primary surveys of nearly 2,000 travel industry executives
  • Surveys of 20,000+ consumers considering the hyper competition between online travel agencies and travel suppliers.

The report contains the in-depth analysis you need to understand the current social media and mobile landscape, and the industry trends that are driving disruptive changes so you can invest your time and money more productively, as well as the prevalent industry trends to inform your future marketing docus and investments along with case studies and hard data to help provide the ideal marketing mix for your brand.

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I am delighted to recommend this important and valuable paper on Social and Mobile developments and future opportunities within the travel industry. It is the wide-ranging depth of research and expert comment that adds real credibility to the document. And, through this insight, we have already been able to utilise the paper to enhance our strategic thinking.

Richard Lewis, CEO, interchange & Consort Hotels, Best Western Hotels

A comprehensive state-of-the-nation assessment of how two of the most talked about innovations in technology of the past three to five years are impacting the behavior of consumers and suppliers of travel products globally. Tantalizing food for thought.

Andrew Pyner, Chief Revenue Officer, Ostrovok.ru

Top Travel Brands Who have Contributed:

  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Cheapflights
  • American Airlines
  • LATAM Airlines Group
  • Starwood Hotels
  • IHG Group
  • Novotel North America
  • Hotels.com
  • HotelTonight.com
  • LastMinute.com
  • Facebook
  • HEBS Digital

The report asks the right questions, and it gives great strategic guidance in the fast moving areas of social, local and mobile in travel

William Beckler, Departing head of innovation at Lastminute,com, Founder of AllTheRooms.com

How Social Media & Mobile are chanding travel distribution

Methodology

EyeforTravel conducted 35 in-depth interviews with travel executives from across the globe including both developed and developing nations and covering traditional, online and multichannel businesses.

The report represents these executives’ experiences of incorporating mobile and social media into their businesses, features elements of their own research into the area, and combines these findings with EyeforTravel’s own current and historical industry barometers.

EyeforTravel’s ongoing barometer research, begun in 2011, provides unique trends insight allowing the report to not only cover past events but combine data with executives’ learnings to make definitive statements about trends the industry expects to see in the next 12-24 months.

Mobile and social media have been the most exciting developments in the travel industry for the past few years, and although almost all companies have now jumped on the bandwagon, following guests and clients, we aren't necessarily all on the same rails. This report gives a clear overview of how different actors use mobile and social, as well as the latest innovations in both fields, in a solid, figures-driven, and truly informative way. This is one of the most useful papers I've read on the topic for a long time.

Remi Lefevre, Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG)

Table of Contents

  • Welcome
  • Industry reviews
  • Thought leadership
  • About EyeforTravel
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index of figures and tables
  • Executive summary
  • Introduction
  • 1 Industry overview
    • 1.1 How social media and mobile is growing travel distribution
    • 1.2 Travel consumer demography
    • 1.2.1 Invisible Travelers
    • 1.2.2 Tiger Travelers
    • 1.2.3 Grey Nomads
    • 1.2.4 Leisure vs. business travel consumers
    • 1.2.5 Religious Travelers
    • 1.3 Technological developments
    • 1.4 Travel supplier innovation
    • 1.5 Travel intermediary innovation
  • 2 Mobile.
    • 2.1 Mobile travel consumers: who are they?
    • 2.2 Mobile trends
    • 2.3 Mobile’s impact on the search and research process
    • 2.3.1 Mobile-specific content optimization
    • 2.3.2 Apps
    • 2.3.3 The Google effect
    • 2.3.4 Adapting mobile to web search norms
    • 2.4 Mobile’s impact on the booking process
    • 2.4.1 Last minute – the mobile booking heartland
    • 2.4.2 Mobile as a payment engine
    • 2.5 Mobile’s impact on business models and strategies.
    • 2.5.1 Mobile for ancillary revenue
    • 2.5.2 Mobile price sensitivity
    • 2.5.3 Recouping the cost of mobile investment
    • 2.6 Mobile case studies
    • 2.6.1 Case study: Hard Rock Café
    • 2.6.2 Case Study Saudi Arabia
  • 3 Social media
    • 3.1 Social media trends
    • 3.2 Social media consumers: who are they?
    • 3.3 Targeting social media users
    • 3.4 Social media’s impact on the search and research process
    • 3.4.1 Social media as a search engine
    • 3.4.2 Social media as a research tool
    • 3.5 Social media’s impact on the booking process
    • 3.6 Mobile-enabled social media’s impact on the travel consumer
    • 3.6.1 Search
    • 3.6.2 Purchase
    • 3.6.3 Customer service
    • 3.7 Social media’s impact on business models and strategies
    • 3.7.1 Understanding social media content
    • 3.8 Social media case studies
    • 3.8.1 Case Study: Airbnb
    • 3.8.2 Case study: Facebook and MGM resorts
    • 3.8.3 Case study: American Airlines
  • 4 Managing the multichannel – integrating social and mobile
    • 4.1 Intermediaries
    • 4.2 Suppliers
    • 4.3 Mobile advertising
    • 4.4 Improving mobile search relevancy
    • 4.5 Mobile social media
    • 4.5.1 Preparing to integrate mobile and social media
    • 4.5.2  Integrating social media and mobile across the marketing mix
    • 4.7 Mobile-social media case studies
    • 4.7.1 HotelTonight case study
  • 5 Consumer research
    • 5.1 Global overview: Most active geographical markets
    • 5.2 Consumer spending on travel
    • 5.3 Channel choice
    • 5.4 Native language
    • 5.5 Developed markets vs. growth markets
  • 6.1 Future market drivers and trends
    • 6.2 Market opportunities and sizes
    • 6.3 Marketers’ spending response in 2014
    • 6.3.1 Intermediaries
    • 6.3.2 Suppliers
    • 6.4 What innovation is likely?
    • 6.4.1 Payment innovation
    • 6.4.2 Search innovation
    • 6.4.3 Reviews innovation
  • Methodology
  • Executive surveys
  • Consumer research
  • Secondary research
  • Abbreviations
  • References

List of Figures & Tables

List of Figures:

  • Figure 1: Consumer travel spend growth, 2012-14
  • Figure 2: Number of users and utilization ratio of online shopping in China, 2011-12
  • Figure 3: Average transaction sizes among selected retail and travel sites in India, 2012
  • Figure 4: Social media use in China, 2013
  • Figure 5: Age distribution of respondents to EyeforTravel Consumer Survey, June 2013
  • Figure 6: Across developed markets, smartphones reach 21% of 55+; tablets reach 11% of 55+
  • Figure 7: Active social media usage on the top five services is growing fastest among older age groups
  • Figure 8: Number of suppliers and intermediaries agreeing that mobile generates little ROI down, 2011 and 2013
  • Figure 9: Intermediaries and suppliers see a strong shift towards mobile generating direct bookings, 2011-2013
  • Figure 10: Intermediaries and suppliers find mobile is improving engagement with customers, 2011-2013
  • Figure 11: Intermediaries and suppliers slowly beginning to increase investment in mobile, 2011-2013
  • Figure 12: Intermediaries and suppliers planning to increase investment in mobile in the next three months 2011-2013
  • Figure 13: Booking volumes via website have dropped, 2011-2013
  • Figure 14: Comparison of intermediary and supplier booking volumes via call centers, 2011-2013
  • Figure 15: Comparison of booking volumes via mobile between intermediaries and suppliers, 2011-2013
  • Figure 16: Comparison of group booking volumes between suppliers and intermediaries, 2011-2013
  • Figure 17: Importance of mobile for sales, suppliers vs. intermediaries, 2011-2013
  • Figure 18: Importance of mobile for marketing, suppliers vs. intermediaries, 2011-2013
  • Figure 19: Importance of mobile for customer service, suppliers vs. intermediaries, 2011-2013
  • Figure 20: Importance of mobile for operations, suppliers vs. intermediaries, 2011-2013
  • Figure 21: Importance of mobile for information, suppliers vs. intermediaries, 2011-2013
  • Figure 22: Intermediary use of apps and/or optimized mobile sites
  • Figure 23: Supplier use of apps and/or optimized mobile sites
  • Figure 24: Results of Google search for Channings Hotel, Edinburgh on desktop
  • Figure 25: Results for Google search for Channings Hotel, Edinburgh on mobile
  • Figure 26: Google search for Hotel Missoni, Edinburgh on desktop
  • Figure 27: Google search of Hotel Missoni, Edinburgh on mobile
  • Figure 28: Inbound tourist trips by purpose of visit and quarter
  • Figure 29: Five generating markets by country of residence and mode of transport
  • Figure 30: Growth in supplier social media profiles.
  • Figure 31: Intermediary social media profiles
  • Figure 32: Social media still has to prove its worth financially to suppliers and intermediaries, 2011-2013
  • Figure 33: Suppliers and intermediaries agree that social media influences direct bookings, 2011-2013
  • Figure 34: Suppliers and intermediaries agree social media improves customer engagement, 2011-2013
  • Figure 35: Supplier and intermediary appetite for investment in social media declining year on year, 2011-2013
  • Figure 36: Suppliers and intermediaries expect to limit investment in social media in the immediate future, 2011-2013
  • Figure 37: Demographic breakdown of top five global social media networks, 2013
  • Figure 38: Social media penetration by region, February 2013
  • Figure 39: Which of the following is most likely to encourage you to join or follow a travel provider’s social media network?
  • Figure 40: How likely would you be to use Facebook?
  • Figure 41: Using social media as a marketing tool, June 2013
  • Figure 42: How consumers use social media to research their destination
  • Figure 43: Consumers’ use of social media to organize group travel
  • Figure 44: Consumers’ propensity to share travel experiences via social media
  • Figure 45: Impact of social media on sales in the last 3 months, June 2013
  • Figure 46: The consumer’s desire for information from travel companies via social media
  • Figure 47: Social media is not a significant contributor to operations, 2013
  • Figure 48: Social media’s importance for distributing information, 2013
  • Figure 49: Likelihood of customers to complain via social media, 2013
  • Figure 50: Likelihood of consumers using social media to make enquiries of a travel provider before and during stay, 2013
  • Figure 51: YouTube’s global user profile and affinity rating, 5 April 2013-4 May 2013
  • Figure 52: Social media’s use as a customer service channel
  • Figure 53: Average engagement with social media networking by region, 2013
  • Figure 54: Vacation travel spend over the past 12 months, BRIC, June 2013
  • Figure 55: How would you rate the experience of using a mobile to access travel sites?
  • Figure 56: How much would consumers spend using a mobile, 2013
  • Figure 57: How much would BRIC consumers spend using a mobile, 2013
  • Figure 58: Feature phone vs. smartphone penetration, India, 2013
  • Figure 59: Feature phone vs. Smartphone penetration, China, 2013
  • Figure 60: Do you use social networks to research travel
  • Figure 61:Do you use social networks to share photos and videos of your trip?
  • Figure 62:Do you use social networks to complain?
  • Figure 63: What regions are you responsible for targeting?
  • Figure 64: What percentage of your total bookings (volume) is distributed via online channels?
  • Figure 65: What regions are you responsible for targeting
  • Figure 66: What is your household income? (Middle East)

List of Tables:

  • Table 1: Five stages of travel consideration
  • Table 2: Mobile subscribers and penetration across Asia, 2012
  • Table 3: Age breakdown of travel respondents to EyeforTravel consumer survey, June 2013
  • Table 4: What do you use to research your travel arrangements (globally, June 2013)
  • Table 5: Most influential channel to bookings – Travel suppliers
  • Table 6: What website do you use to book your vacation travel? June 2013, Global
  • Table 7: Devices and websites customers are most likely to use to make a last-minute booking
  • Table 8: How a hotel might finance its mobile-optimized site
  • Table 9: Average engagement with social media networking by region, 2012
  • Table 10: Evaluation of reach for American Airlines crisis management social media campaign, April 2013
  • Table 11: Comparison of marketing spend per channel by intermediaries, 2012-2014
  • Table 12: Comparison of marketing spend per channel by suppliers, 2012-2014
  • Table 13: Top 10 outbound travel markets, 2003-2011
  • Table 14: Top 10 inbound travel markets, 2003-2011
  • Table 15: Vacation travel spend over the past 12 months, June 2013
  • Table 16: How much have you spent on travel in the last 12 months, Brazil, June 2013
  • Table 17: How much have you spent on travel in the last 12 months, Russia, June 2013
  • Table 18: How much have you spent on travel in the last 12 months, India, June 2013
  • Table 19: How much have you spent on travel in the last 12 months, China, June 2013
  • Table 20: Expected travel spend in 2014
  • Table 21: How much do you plan to spend on travel in 2014, Brazil, June 2013
  • Table 22: How much do you plan to spend on travel in 2014, Russia, June 2013
  • Table 23: How much do you plan to spend on travel in 2014, India, June 2013
  • Table 24: How much do you plan to spend on travel in 2014,China, June 2013
  • Table 25:  How much have you spent on vacation travel arrangements in the last 12 months?  Vacation Packages
  • Table 26: How much have you spent on vacation travel arrangements in the last 12 months?  Air
  • Table 27: How much have you spent on vacation travel arrangements in the last 12 months? Hotels
  • Table 28: What device do you use to book travel? (Brazil, June 2013)
  • Table 29: What device do you use to book travel (Russia, June 2013)
  • Table 30: What device do you use to book travel (India, June 2013)
  • Table 31: What device do you use to book travel (China, June 2013)
  • Table 32: Do you use any of the following to access the internet?
  • Table 33: Where do you begin researching your travel: Vacation Packages (Middle East)
  • Table 34: Percentage of population using mobile phones, 2013
  • Table 35: Percentage of population using smartphone vs. feature phone vs. multimedia phone
  • Table 36: Popular mobile activity, 2013
  • Table 37: Popular mobile technology applications, 2013
  • Table 38: Projections for growth in Travel & Tourism’s contribution to GDP, 2013-2023
  • Table 39:  What best describes your company sector?
  • Table 40: How many employees does your company have globally?
  • Table 41: What best describes your company sector?.
  • Table 42: How many employees does your company have globally?
  • Table 43: What percentage of your total bookings (volume) is distributed via online channels?
  • Table 44: How old are you?
  • Table 45: What is your gender?
  • Table 46: What is your household income?
  • Table 47: How many people are in your household?

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Kind regards,

Nikhil

Nikhil Vijayan
Nikhil Vijayan
Marketing Manager
EyeforTravel
Direct line: +44 (0)207 375 7165