New Portals of Travel Discovery

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New Portals for Travel Discovery

Six platforms consumers are currently using for travel searches include smartphone mobile apps, travel bundling sites such as, general search engines such as Google, general hotel sites such as, voice search, and chat. About 5 years ago, the top five digital platforms used for travel searches included search engines, hotel sites/apps, online travel agencies, airline sites/apps, and map sites/apps.


  • In 2018, 82% of bookings took place online without human interaction.
  • 84% of consumers use travel bundling site such as to book hotels, air tickets, hire cabs, etc. instead of going through a specific hotel or airline.
  • 31% of accommodation searches started on a general search engine in 2018 compared to 23% in 2017.
  • According to a 2018 marketing report,, Trivago, and were the most used travel sites.
  • "20% of brands will abandon their mobile apps by 2019".
  • "23% of travelers have used voice search to research or book a trip".
  • "25% of travelers have researched or booked a trip using a chat platform".
  • "80% of travelers use a smartphone app to research a trip".
  • Only 9% of US travel consumers "always" know which brand they want.


  • "Kayak, whose co-founders had previously worked at Orbitz and Expedia, allowed customers to find airline pricing results across multiple sites with one search. The model, which has remained relatively unchanged, is known today as the metasearch model and is one of the fastest growing search models for airfare and now hotel bookings".
  • Consumers are turning towards general search engines for their initial leisure travel planning over using mobile apps.
  • 45% of travel consumers are searching for information on tablets and smartphones in addition to desktop computers.
  • "This trend with 'cross-platform' researching and booking was true regardless of the type of travel being purchased, such as airfare, hotel stay, car rental, or cruise trip".
  • Although apps remained far more popular, overall, 2014 saw a relative increase in consumers using general search engines to begin their research and a decline in consumers using apps.
  • "65% of leisure travelers begin researching online before they have decided where or how to travel".
  • 41% of travel consumers are using a tablet or smartphone for their research.
  • Even if consumers are researching using a tablet or smartphone, 55% of them prefer a laptop or desktop computer when booking travel.
  • In 2014, the top 5 digital platforms used for leisure travel planning included search engines (60%), hotel sites/apps (48%), online travel agency (40%), Airline sites/apps (39%), and Map sites/apps (38%).

Your Research team applied the following Strategy:

We commenced our research by identifying statistics for travel platforms used currently and approximately 5 years ago. Some sources are included from years other than 2019 or 2014 because they either show information for one of those 2 years, or they reference a trend for that time period of the usage of travel search, thus identifying a difference for comparison for the 2 time periods.

Also, we noted several points of comparison between the two periods. When compared to prior years, consumers appear to be relying far less on general search engines when beginning their research. Additionally, voice search and chat-based platforms do not appear to have been at all relevant for travel searches 5 years ago. The trend away from specific brand-based travel searches identified 5 years ago has continued. The trend toward consumers conducting their travel searches across multiple platforms also appears to have intensified over the years.