A recent study out of America by a digital marketing agency* show that US travellers are more likely to visit the official State tourism website first before a booking site.
What travellers want in a holiday is unusual destinations, secret landmarks, authentic experiences. Many travellers crave experiences over traditional holidays and the popularity of official tourism websites proves this.
Typically, official tourism websites don't list hotels or flight times but experiences that cater to travellers. These experiences form their decisions of where to travel, not cheap deals or accommodation specs.
The second takeaway from the research is the dominance of mobile. More travellers are planning holidays on their smartphone or tablet. People are using mobile not just when researching destinations on tourism sites but also when booking.
Another notable from the research was that travellers care about sustainability and the environment when looking for holiday destinations. There has been a shift in both consumer and business travel in recent years. At one time, travellers cared about monetary value — holidays that gave them the most "bang for their buck." Now, travellers, particularly millennial travellers, care about ethics and principles. Green hotels, low-emission flights, sustainable tourism principles — there is a growing demand for these values. Mentioning travel values across your marketing channels — social media, blogs, paid ads, etc is something that needs to be considered by tourism products and regions alike.
*Research results available here.
Tourism Central Coast has no affiliation with this company this is for travel behaviour insight purposes only.