Reaching audiences who are seeking travel opportunities this winter

December 16, 2021 | By Jareen Imam, Sr. Content and Editorial Manager

This holiday season, more Americans are traveling than they did in 2020. For instance, AAA estimated about 53 million Americans traveled for Thanksgiving, the highest single-year increase since 2005 and close to the number of Americans who traveled during Thanksgiving 2019.1

“Now that the borders are open and new health and safety guidelines are in place, travel is once again high on the list for Americans who are ready to reunite with their loved ones for the holiday,” Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel, said in a press release.

Whether they are planning on visiting family or seeking a vacation, some customers may be feeling more comfortable traveling this year compared to 2020. Four in 10 Americans plan to travel over the holidays, according to a Deloitte survey of more than 6,000 Americans.2 Public health and safety measures of course continue to inform consumers travel plans.

Still, US customers are browsing travel options this holiday season, according to a Kantar and Amazon Ads survey of 500 people.3 There was a 32% increase in travel site visits year-over-year in 2021 compared to 2020.4 And travel app TripIt found that 31% of its customers planned to travel for the winter holidays.5

With customers researching travel options this holiday season, brands have the opportunity to help educate customers about new deals, opportunities, and destinations. Timely information is important for travel shoppers with many researching travel options well in advance of their trip. For example, according to the Kantar and Amazon Ads survey, 50% of Amazon’s travel customers begin planning for a trip a month or more in advance of the holidays.6 And 1 in 2 Amazon customers have high intent to travel for the holidays.7

As customers research travel information, brands may be able to engage these in-market customers with advertising campaigns that help inform them. Amazon is a destination where advertisers may be able to reach and engage customers who are looking to travel. Here’s what brands may want to consider when understanding what’s important for these Amazon travel customers.

What motivates travel customers on Amazon

Amazon travel customers have varied motivations and goals for booking travel. Brands looking to engage with customers interested in travel should consider ways to inspire these customers. Our survey found that Amazon travel customers fall into four distinctive groups. It’s important for brands to understand these different groups and provide them with relevant and helpful information. 27% of these Amazon customers are “jet setters” and travel domestically or internationally every 6 months. Then there are “culture seekers.”8 This group looks to discover new places, or destinations when they travel, and make up 18% of Amazon travel customers.9 17% of Amazon travel customers are domestic vacationers, meaning they travel within the US once a year.10 And finally, 13% are business travelers, and they travel domestically or internationally about every 3 months.11

In addition, travel customers have different considerations that influence their travel booking decisions. Price is one of the key factors among most customers when they are considering booking travel. In fact, 1 and 3 Amazon customers, 34%, said they prefer to book travel based on value.12 29% of Amazon customers say relaxing experiences are an important factor when booking travel.13 28% of Amazon customers look to book based on weather and time of year.14 And 19% of Amazon customers say discovering a cultural experience and visiting family and friends are important factors when deciding on whether to book a trip.15

What do travel customers value most when booking

From social values to personalization, travel customers have different things that matter to them when considering their purchasing options. For example, customers have become increasingly more conscious of their environmental footprint when they choose to travel, and knowing a brand’s approach to sustainability can impact their booking decisions. Adult Gen Z travelers on Amazon are more likely to have a higher intent to travel when brands create personalized, environmentally-conscious travel recommendations.16 And 30% of these customers said they prefer one long vacation instead of several weekend breaks. Knowing this, brands may want to use digital advertising solutions as a way to share their social values around the environment in order to reach and engage these customers.

Millennial travel customers on Amazon value convenience and new experiences. 47% of Amazon’s Millennial customers say they favor traveling to new destinations. Therefore, brands that are able to provide helpful information about new places could have the opportunity to engage these Millennial shoppers.

Gen X travelers on Amazon say they start planning a trip several months in advance, and are incentivized to book travel through rewards programs.17 Gathering research is also important for this group, with 46% of Amazon Gen X customers spending a longer time, several months, to plan their trips.18 This group also prefers to travel to places that introduce them to cultural experiences. Brands looking to reach this group may want to consider advertising solutions that help inform and educate shoppers on deals, or on ways to use rewards programs in order to book travel.

51% of Baby Boomer travelers on Amazon also start to plan their trips months in advance. These customers reported generally preferring domestic travel. And 28% of these customers find traveling to developed countries more appealing.19 Brands that want to reach these customers may want to consider using ad solutions that help Baby Boomers access information that could help in their travel research.

Finally, customers who are booking travel for families prefer traveling within the US, with 33% of family customers saying they favor domestic travel over international travel.20 They are also more likely to consider purchasing packaged deals for travel. And safety is a big consideration for this group when they are making their travel decisions. Brands looking to engage this group may want to use ad solutions that communicate package deals and other offerings.

The travel audience is not a monolith. These customers seek value which they define through different factors. Whether that’s searching for the best deals or looking to reduce their carbon footprint, Amazon travel customers have specific needs they are hoping to meet when it comes to booking travel. Brands looking to connect with travel customers this holiday season may want to consider creating campaigns with focused messaging that aligns with customers’ values. Ads that showcase deals, promotions, and packages could help engage travel customers seeking out the best values. Whereas, brands looking to engage customers who care about the environment may want to consider how they communicate those social values in their marketing.

By considering ad solutions like streaming TV ads, Sponsored Display, or audio ads, brands may be able to connect with customers looking for their next travel destination this holiday season and beyond.

1 2021 Thanksgiving Holiday Forecast, AAA, IHS Markit, US, 2021
2 2021 Deloitte holiday travel survey, US, 2021
3 Kantar and Amazon Ads Quickfire holiday survey of 500 participants, US, 2021
SimilarWeb, aggregated data view on 10 travel brands, US, September 2021
5 Tripit travel survey, US, August 2021
6-20 Kantar and Amazon Ads Quickfire holiday survey of 500 participants, US, 2021