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According to eMarketer, this year we can see that digital sales within travel are looking to be significant, with an industry worth $510 billion worldwide – The UK will look to contribute $37 billion to these online travel sales this year
Looking ahead, the World Travel Monitor found that Europeans are slightly more optimistic about their travel intentions for this year than they were at the same time last year. The number of people who plan to travel as much in 2015 as last year or even more has gone up slightly to 72% from 70% last year. Overall, we expect a 3% rise in European outbound travel next year which would mean a good year of solid growth.
Furthermore comparison sites are the go to websites in Germany. In a customer survey by OTA ebookers, finding quick and easy comparison sites were the most important advantage to buying travel digitially among respondents in the country, cited by 60%
We’re also seeing mobile playing a bigger role within travel as according to Expedia and Egencia, 15% of internet users in Germany book business and leisure travel on a smartphone.
So we’re seeing holiday goers in Germany are looking bright and mobile for 2015.
Now as we look into year over year growth, digital travel sales in Germany is set to increase 7%. And is expected to grow to $17 billion in 2018.
During the year we see travel searches peak heavily twice a year. With a big spike at the end of Dec - January for all the New Year travel plans, we’re also seeing that for summer time travel searches ramp up as of May and peaks till September.
With all up travel search volume uplifting over 20% during August. Here, we can see that the travel categories such as lodging, holidays and cruise travel queries see the strongest uplifts with an increase up to 20% in August a well.
Lodging queries increase early only and see it’s highest uplift during July to mid august reach over 20% before it falls in September. Lodging queries tend to not increase as much during the New Year Travel plans, focusing increased activity much more during the summer months.
Interestingly enough, Cruise and flight related searches sees less of an uptick during the early summer but see a sudden spike of 15% in July and continues to increase throughout August.
The key take away here is to ensure you don’t leave it to June to prepare for your travel budgets and to make sure that when setting budgets they are set to last till end of August to mid September.
Here we have the top travel flight destination queries on all devices stack ranked by search volume on the Bing & Yahoo sites.
Destinations such as Barcelona, New York and Dubai seem to be the searcher’s favourite amongst the countries.
Flight destination searches for Italy tend to be more short haul within the EU, whereas the Dutch tend to search for more long haul destinations.
5 out of the top ten searched destinations in France are also French speaking countries, which plays an important role on where they decide to go abroad.
But which age demographic travels the most on our Yahoo Bing Network? Roughly 50% of all travel related search queries come from those aged 35-65 year old in all of the countries (interestingly those who are more likely to have a higher income). In the UK, the 65+ years old also tend to search for travel related queries, more so than any other country. In Italy and France, those aged 25-34 years old also tend to search a bit more for travel related queries. This may be useful when thinking about choosing your target audiences across countries for multi-market campaigns.
But are our users searching travel queries on a PC or on mobile devices?
Italy tops the countries with mobile as nearly half of travel queries in Italy are made on a mobile and tablet device, most of them being on a smartphone.
The brits also seem to be on the go with 39% of travel queries being on a mobile device, however tablet seems to play a bigger role in the UK then the other countries as it holds the highest percentage of 17% travel queries.
For Germany and France, 30% of travel queries were made on a smartphone and tablet device, and although the Netherlands are more PC focused we’re still seeing 20% of those travel queries being mobile.
As mobile starts to play a bigger role in the world of travel, don’t forget to target your mobile searchers who seem to be particularly active in Italy & the UK. Make sure you take a look at your bid modifier within Bing ads you can continue to tune your bids for optimum ROI.
As Mobile becomes more influential in the way consumers purchase travel, what we’re actually seeing on the YBN is that around a 3 in 10 travel searches are on a Mobile device (including both Tablet/Mobile)
Mobile is still higher than Tablet, but interestingly lodging, trains and cruises are the most mobile categories in terms of smartphone queries. Cruises and Holidays categories gain the highest share of Tablet searches.
Here, we looked into all travel intent queries, split by each travel category and how it performed by age group.
In Germany , majority of the travel category searches were by 35-49 year olds. What’s really interesting to see, is that over 50% of cruises related searches in the UK were by those aged 50+ years, with 18% being over 65+ years old
Now we kind of look into the overall click growth within the travel and transport sector on the Yahoo Bing Network in Germany. What we’ve done here is that we’ve found overall Travel click growth year over year for Yahoo Bing Network. That’s March 2014 vs March 2015.
Travel clicks overall have grown +79%
Tablet clicks are up an outstanding +210% and Mobile clicks +105%, year over year.
So overall, in the UK we’re seeing very healthy tablet/mobile data for travel specifically.
Then if we compare CPCs within travel on the Yahoo Bing Network to Google Adwords, the Yahoo Bing Network continues to be more cost effective. With the UK being -43% cheaper on Yahoo Bing Network to Adwords, and even -55% cheaper overall in the Eurozone. We are significantly cheaper then Google for Travel.
Whilst we’re seeing large mobile activity within travel, make sure you help drive customer engagement and app installs with your mobile ad by using new app extensions.
Another way to drive customer engagement with your ad is through combining extensions.
In the past we have looked at ad extension combinations, and worked out averages of combined ad extensions, but not specific to the actual combinations. We have done some analysis this round, looking at average mainline CTR for each extension within Travel & Transport(looking at the average CTR of mainline ads with these extensions, or combination of extensions), and then looking at the averages for enhanced sitelinks + location extensions.
Text ads are showing a mainline CTR average of 4%
Adding Location extensions means a healthy average CTR of 7%
Enhanced Sitelink extensions, which adds relevant links, and expands real estate means an average of 22%
Combining ESL and location extensions shows a higher average CTR of just over 24% - this is because we are adding information, and driving engagement.
The main focus here is the more the merrier within travel – therefore more engagement with richer ads.
Here we’ve done a bunch of ad copy analysis for the UK, to help make your ad copy stand out from the rest. This can help you communicate product offerings in a way that resonates with your target customer, and makes your ad stand out
As part of this analysis, we identified a number of ad copy tactics typically used to optimise ads in the Travel vertical. We looked at whether these tactics improved the ad quality, and differentiated the ad.
To make it easy to understand, we’ve rolled all of the individual keywords and tokens into token categories and analysed which sub-categories are the best and most effective differentiators for Holidays, Flights and Lodgings.
If focusing and writing on holiday specific campaigns, try highlighting the selectin of options available and make your ad stand out with brand endorsements.
Including special symbols and brand endorsements will help for flight related campaigns and recognising customer influenced attributes will help you’re ad stand out for Lodging campaigns.
We highly recommend building and testing different ad copy combinations to find the strongest performing ad for your brand and product.
To wrap up, make sure you forget your Bing travel essentials.
Here are the 3 must dos when thinking about your travel campaign:
Don’t wait until June to prepare for your travel ads, make sure budgets are set to last till the end of summer, especially if your working on Cruise related campaigns in the UK.
As mobile is continuing to play a big focus in travel, make sure you take a look at your bid modifiers and continue to drive engagement to your mobile ads wit app extensions.
Finally try testing different a copy and recommended tokens in May – make sure you run with the best performing ads during the summer peak time.