IAB Analysis Shows Travel-Seeking Audience Spending More Time Online & Having Stronger Mobile Usage Habits Than Average Americans

“Consumer Travel & The Media” Reveals Travel As #1 Major Purchase Plan Among U.S. Consumers in Next Six Months, with Digital Media Providing Vital Access to Travel Intenders

NEW YORK – Nearly a quarter (23%) of Americans are planning vacation travel in the next six months, making the category the top “big ticket” item they plan to purchase in the period, according to Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) analysis entitled “Consumer Travel & The Media.” Falling directly behind travel in spending intentions are computers (16%), furniture (14%) and a new car (11%). The findings also reveal that these soon-to-be travelers are heavier media users than the general population, pointing to advertising opportunities – particularly within digital – for airline, hotel, and cruise marketers.

In a typical week, the internet and TV each reach an overwhelming majority of this coveted group of consumers. However, digital’s reach point difference among travel intenders is higher than that for television. On a weekly basis, the internet reaches 94 percent of intended travelers, in comparison to 85 percent of the general population reached. The comparable TV numbers are 97 percent versus 89 percent.

Other notable media usage findings among intended travelers include:

  • On weekdays, internet weekly reach among intended travelers approaches parity with TV (91% internet vs. 95% TV)
  • Soon-to-be travelers are more likely to surf the internet (91% vs. 82%), listen to radio (77% vs. 69%), and read magazines (61% vs. 51%) and newspapers (58% vs. 50%) than the general population
  • They are far more likely to send and read emails than the average American (94% vs. 83%)
  • Over one third (36%) report that online communities and social networking are among their favorite online activities, markedly higher than the average American (29%)

“As advertisers in the travel industry plan for winter vacation travel marketing, the demand seems promising,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics and Measurement, IAB. “With travel intenders spending more time consuming digital media than the average person, a mix of media buys is going to be necessary to influence this audience. Clearly, digital media need to serve as a critical portion of the media plan in order to reach potential travel-goers for the holiday season.”

Investigating mobile device ownership among those planning to travel in the next six months, the analysis uncovered that they are more likely than the average U.S. adult to own an iPhone (25% vs. 20%). In addition, they exhibit slightly higher smartphone ownership across Androids (30% vs. 26%) and Blackberries (10% vs. 8%) than the typical American.

Those who plan on vacation travel are also somewhat more likely to download apps to their mobile devices (69% travel intenders vs. 66% general population). More striking is their greater rates of app usage across the board. For example, travel-seekers tend to say they use apps within the six most popular categories more than those in the general population:

  • Games (70% travel intenders vs. 66% general population)
  • Weather (69% travel intenders vs. 57% general population)
  • Entertainment (60% travel intenders vs. 54% general population)
  • Social Networking (58% travel intenders vs. 52% general population)
  • Radio (45% travel intenders vs. 39% general population)
  • Travel (53% travel intenders vs. 38% general population)

“Travel intenders’ mobile device ownership and deep involvement with apps speaks to the fact that this audience wants to connect digitally on-the-go,” said Anna Bager, Vice President and General Manager, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB. “The findings point to a strong mobile marketing opportunity for marketers who are offering flights, hotel rooms, resort packages and cruises.”

“Consumer Travel & The Media” includes intelligence from the Media Behaviors & Influence Study from BIGinsight, which polls some 25,000 respondents twice a year. The report is the second in an ongoing series of consumer research studies that IAB is producing in conjunction with the research firm; the first was “The Path to Purchase Consumer Electronics”released earlier this year at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting.

To read the full report, go to www.iab.net/consumertravel.

The Media Behavior and Influence Study was conducted online April 24 – June 11, 2012 with a sample size of 24,864 and a margin of error of +/- .6%.

About BIGinsight
BIGinsight delivers customized timely market intelligence from various sources through its cloud-based technology-driven Integrated Solutions Platform. Solutions are delivered on multiple devices (PC/Tablet/Smartphone) though the InsightCenter™ tool using diverse information sources relevant to clients’ business needs. www.BIGinsight.com.

About the IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 500 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.iab.net.