Almost half of all holiday bookings are directly influenced by news media, a new report released by NewsMediaWorks has revealed.
Some 60% of holidaymakers recall seeing or hearing a specific travel ad in the early stages of buying their holiday, according to the Path to Purchase: Travel Report. Yet, only 38% of holidaymakers have a specific destination in mind when they begin planning a holiday, which means that 3 in 5 consumers are open to persuasion.
To understand how to engage holidaymakers on their path to purchase, NewsMediaWorks collaborated with Research Now to develop one of Australia’s largest path to purchase projects. NewsMediaWorks is a not for profit industry body established to advocate the cultural influence and commercial value of print and digital news media in Australia. It was founded in 2006 by Fairfax Media, News Corp Australia, APN News & Media and Seven West Media (West Australian Newspapers).
Unlike similar studies, which retrospectively look at consumer behaviour, this study gathered information from buyers in real time at four distinct stages of their purchase journey: 1. recognising that they need a holiday; 2. researching options; 3. forming a shortlist and 4. booking a holiday.
Price is the most important factor in the ‘researching options’ phase of the path to purchase journey at 59%, followed by inspiration (55%), inclusions (47%), where to book and recommendations (31% each) and reviews (26%). Holidaymakers turn to news media as a ‘one-stop shop’ for these six key pieces of information they require when booking a holiday. These information needs remain throughout the path to purchase, but their weighting changes at each stage. When booking a holiday, for example, reviews and recommendations become increasingly important.
Throughout the holidaymakers’ path to purchase – which on average spans 22 weeks – news media consistently outperforms other paid media, when it comes to looking for information and reading reviews and recommendations of destinations.
“At the critical booking phase, people want reassurance that they are buying the right holiday. This is where news media is particularly strong – its travel content, independent advice, reviews and recommendations and quality journalism are more sought after by holidaymakers than any other paid channel. News media delivers at every stage of the path to purchase and enables travel destinations and airlines to connect with buyers when they are actively seeking information and making purchase decisions.” NewsMediaWorks CEO Mark Hollands said.