Online travel merchants such as airlines, hotels and sharing services are more competitive than ever in trying to exceed the expectations of modern travelers to win the race for the holiday brand of choice. Are these online merchants taking into account the importance of offering seamless payments to modern travelers? Providing seamless payments is crucial for these merchants to earn the trust of their modern customers and also a great way to differentiate themselves in the market and create an overall high quality customer experience.
Who are these tourists that Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) are pushing themselves ever harder to satisfy? And how do they choose where to book their travel? The answer is not simple. Right now, modern travelers have an extraordinary amount of choice as to how they go about acquiring travel products. With greater choice comes a greater desire for personalization and localization, as buyers expect the product to come exactly as they want it. This expectation, in turn, has created a number of distinctly different modern traveler types.
Proactive planners (8.7 million people)
The Proactive Planners is the largest modern traveler group and the one that spends the most money on travel. They usually have grown up children and live comfortably with steady incomes. For these consumers, careful planning is essential. In fact, they would regularly book their next holiday as far as 9 months in advance. They would pour over countless brochures and size up the services and packages offered by various different providers, weighing up the pros and cons of every available option before they make their decision.
Experience Enthusiasts (7.1 million people)
The second biggest group and the second biggest spenders, Experience Enthusiasts share many of the demographic traits of the Proactive Planners. They are also middle-aged and have plenty of money to play around with. Unlike the above group, however, they tend not to have many (if any) family ties. Their mind is not on relaxation but on ‘the experience’. They want to dive headfirst into what a country has to offer and escape into a whole new world. Their tastes tend towards the active, with lots of hiking, mounting climbing, biking and trekking. They like to stray beyond the guide-book, and will take chances in search of their destination’s ‘real’ culture.
Spontaneous Fun Searchers (5.6 million people)
Spontaneous Fun Searchers are generally young adults with a small amount of disposable income, few family ties and little or no interest in culture. They travel to hit the clubs and beaches in hot-spots like Ibiza and Kavos. Though they might make less money than the two above-mentioned groups, Spontaneous Fun Searchers still like to spend. What they don’t like to do is plan, and so the bulk of their cash will be splurged on impulsive purchases that help them access short term fun. They’re also impatient, so will want to travel ASAP after they book. The destination itself is secondary to the entertainment that is on offer. That means as long as they can get a good deal on a busy beach that has lots of buzzing clubs and bustling bars, they will be happy.
Winning customers in this industry requires online travel merchants to earn their trust by offering a great user experience from a variety of aspects. Secure, seamless payments represent a key to earning this trust. Merchants must work together with their payment service providers to deliver the proper customer experience for their target group of modern travelers; that will win their attention and ultimately, lead to a higher revenue. The number of parties, currencies and channels involved in online travel transactions makes them complex. For this reason, merchants will need a dedicated OTA solution designed to make such transactions simple. Find out what you need to ask from your payment service provider so that you receive a tailor-made payment solution!
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