Few Consumers See Travel Value Rising

June 22, 2010

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Data-driven | Media & Entertainment | Retail & E-Commerce

In one bad sign for the summer travel season, relatively few consumers think the value in major travel categories rose between 2009 and 2010, according to a recent survey from Compete.

One in Five Thinks Hotels, Cruises Gaining Value
In their assessment of “value,” Compete asked survey respondents to consider factors including price and amenities in four major travel categories: cruise, hotel, car rental and flight.

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Slightly more than 20% of consumers said that both the hotel and cruise categories have improved in value since 2009, with cruise edging out hotel for the top spot. However, more than three-quarters of respondents who rated each of these categories as getting better said they were getting “slightly” better as opposed to “much” better.

Meanwhile, only about 9% of respondents said car rentals have improved in value during the past year, and only about 8% said flight has improved in value. As with cruise and hotel, three-quarters or more of respondents who said value is getting better in both these categories said it is getting slightly, rather than much, better.

Flight Value Seen as Declining
Three of the four travel categories analyzed by Compete can take some comfort in that most respondents said their value is the same this year as last year. However, slightly more than 50% said the value offered by the flight category is worse in 2010 than it was in 2009. Close to 40% said it is the same.

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In contrast, close to 65% of respondents said the value in the car rental category is the same this year as last year, while a little more than 55% said the value in the hotel and cruise categories is the same, with hotel barely beating cruise in the percentage of consumers giving this opinion.

Cross-channel CRM is Crucial
Compete advises travel service providers to cross all consumer touch points in their CRM and marketing/promotional efforts. These include branding, messaging, fares, discounts, extra amenities, and rewards programs.

In addition, travel service providers may also need to consider atypical customers and research, such as on how consumers evaluate travel value relative to non-travel expenditures. Furthermore, Compete advises that consumers’ definition of value may change during the peak summer season as opposed to off-season times of the year.

Summer Travel Plans Stay Flat
Perhaps reflecting the majority of consumers who think the value in most major travel categories has remained the same since last year, consumer travel plans for this summer are flat compared to last summer, according to a recent survey by Deloitte. Nearly six out of 10 (59%) survey respondents plan to take a trip between June 1 and Labor Day 2010, which is flat compared with the share of respondents who said they made trips a year ago.

The survey reveals that more than one-quarter (26%) expect to spend more money on their summer trips than they spent last year, while nearly half (49%) plan to spend the same amount. In addition, 31% of respondents postponed a vacation earlier this year but are ready for one this summer, and 17% plan to take an overseas summer vacation.

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