When making travel arrangements, booking online is clearly the preferred method for nearly 80% of respondents, according to SDL’s latest survey in a report titled, "The Modern Traveler: A Look at Customer Engagement in the Travel Industry."

SDL Campaign Management & Analytics surveyed 4,000 consumers in the U.K., United States, and Australia. The findings indicate that travelers' preferences differ depending on the channel they are using at the time of interaction.

Of all the regions surveyed, the U.S. does far less travel booking (only 5%) in person. Since 84% of respondents indicated that a positive online or web experience is important or very important when booking travel, the connection between the online experience and the likelihood to share a positive experience becomes critical, as the power of word-of-mouth recommendations is one of the most credible forms of information available today.

Mobile Apps

More than 60% of survey respondents indicated that they use mobile apps when traveling. U.S. and Australia – 75% and 65%, respectively -- use mobile apps the most while on vacation or holiday. Contrastly, less than 50% of U.K. respondents use mobile apps while traveling.


Email is mainly preferred for travel reminders, such as airline reservations, hotel check-in times, and tickets for events. In fact, 83% of global survey respondents like to receive travel reminders by email while only 9% don’t want reminders at all.

Taking into consideration the differences in usage and preferences across these three primary channels, it's clear that leading travel providers need to deliver consistent and contextually relevant omni- or multichannel experiences to be successful with today's demanding customers.

"The goal with our original research is to take a more in-depth look at specific industries as a way to discover insights on how brands can optimize their customer experience to increase engagement, revenues, and loyalty," Bob Hale, CEO, SDL Campaign Management & Analytics Division, said in the report. "With travel and tourism being identified as one of the fastest growing sectors, it is imperative that brands build and scale their customer experience management practices to meet the changing needs of customers around the world."

The survey results also show that vacation is the last vestige of relaxation with nearly 70% of respondents saying they unplug completely or as much as possible. U.K. respondents unplug at a rate of 74% while on holiday; Americans check in at 60%.

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