How Do Contemporary Travelers Book Their Trips?

Feb 28, 202310 min readShare on LinkedIn

When online booking disrupted the travel industry, some travelers started to plan their trips by themselves. Armed with the right technology, a modern traveler can find almost anything for their vacation, from a rental car on a budget to a hotel in Paris with the artisan bakery nearby. And all this happens in a matter of seconds! 

As a result, travel agencies have become greatly misunderstood by people unwilling to shell out money for something they can do on their own. Yet, in reality, when people face the need to deal with frantic airline schedules, changing travel protocols, or limited hotel availability, travel agencies become a lifeline, helping them not to spend their entire vacation recovering from the planning disaster. 

To successfully market your travel agency today, you need to understand how modern travelers search and book their trips. These insights will help you not only cater to tourists’ needs but also build a solid base of loyal customers. In this article the Btravel team will walk you through the major types of modern travelers and show how they approach the vacation planning.

Three types of contemporary travelers

Modern travelers that turn to online travel agencies (OTAs) for help fall into three main categories: luxury travelers, special-interest globetrotters, and elderly adventurers

Luxury travelers 

In 2020, the luxury tourism market was worth a whopping $204.3 billion. Today, when the global pandemic is more of a memory, it’s expected to get even hotter. In fact, by 2024, most of the countries will witness significant growth in luxury tourism revenues. 


Luxury tourism revenues in 2020 and 2024


The following statistics doesn’t suggest that people have become wealthier somehow, but rather that the concept of luxury travel has been reconsidered lately. Once restricted to insanely rich people, now it has become the prerogative of travelers who strive to get one-of-a-kind experiences or attend self-improvement campaigns. 

It’s worth noting that 72% of Millennials are willing to spend their cash on authentic experiences rather than material objects. When it comes to travel plans, millennial adventurers rely mainly on technology to find all necessary information. But as the Internet is so vast, they may feel lost in the weeds, doubting whether they made the right choice. 

To appeal to this audience, travel agencies need to use a powerful booking engine that would help them find a wide range of activities and packages based on clients’ unique preferences, luxury hotels that otherwise wouldn’t be readily available, you name it. 

If you have long craved for such a platform, look no further. Btravel offers a world-class one-stop-solution that will allow you to satisfy all needs of the most demanding luxury spenders. Our aggregator provides a great choice of real-time accommodation offerings, convenient flights, car rentals, unforgettable activities, transfers, and personalized packages. Offering such a seamless digital experience will make your service more attractive in the eyes of the luxury tourists. 

Special-interest globetrotters

Special interest tourism responds to clients’ hobbies or desires, helping them to learn something new or allowing them to express themselves. The global special interest tourism market is predicted to increase from $3.5 billion in 2022 to more than $26 billion by 2032. This is not surprising at all, given the huge variety of niches that this category embraces, such as food tourism, health tourism, spiritual tourism, and so on. 



Global special interest tourism market


Since these tourists want to have a specific type of travel, they usually do research and book everything well in advance. It’s quite common when such travelers opt for packages because they’re generally more cost-effective. 

Some travelers in this niche also seek highly personalized service to cater their unique interests. To meet this need, you can leverage Btravel’s booking platform that provides its users with tailor-made packages. Customers simply need to share their ideas and our solution will offer them a range of options for having exciting and unforgettable experiences. 

Elderly adventurers

Travel businesses should also target elderly tourists, since many of them spend years saving money to travel in retirement. The study conducted by Deloitte suggests that people aged 65 years and over are more likely to rely on travel agent services than other age groups. In fact, there’s a logical explanation for this: elderly tourists have never stopped using travel agencies, even after the introduction of online bookings. 

Marketing your services to these clients isn’t the same as to millennials. To align your offerings with the clients’ needs, you need to understand specific reasons why they use travel agencies nowadays. Let’s find out some of them.

  • Family vacation: Taking into account the interests of each family member is a huge hill to climb for a traveler who plans a vacation on their own. That’s why people may be tempted to lean on OTAs for this kind of help. With the assistance from professional gurus, a client can sleep well, knowing that the vacation would please, say, their four-year old boy as well as entertain his grand-farther. 
  • Package bookings: Elderly tourists often book trips with a wide range of activities. Therefore, they may look for different guided tours to avoid the headache associated with detailed planning.
  • Peace of mind: The elderly tend to value comfort in their lives and want to avoid at all costs suffering from shattered nerves caused by unexpected changes. Travel agencies back them up in this regard, making sure that they travel with absolute peace and quiet.

Researching and buying behaviors of modern travelers

Travel agencies should leverage the power of statistics to understand what offerings might be interesting to their clients. Without further ado, let’s take a look at things that travelers pay attention to when booking their trips.

More meticulous planning

American tourists spend almost 30% more time searching for a trip in 2022 compared to 2019. More than a half of all Americans focus primarily on research in their booking process. It’s worth adding that 55% of Britons share this sentiment. In Australia, there’s also a 16% increase in time spent planning travel. 

OTAs should be mindful of their marketing efforts to make sure they speed up the research process for their clients. Travel wholesalers, like Btravel, facilitate research, allowing travel agents to easily find the best fit for their clients, be it an accommodation, flight, or car rental. 

Safety measures

While many tourists want to avoid serious travel restrictions in order to get the most out of their vacation, personal safety still remains one of their top priorities. The research conducted by Ipsos MORI shows that 7 out of 10 travelers believe that the number of Covid cases matters, when it comes to choosing a destination. The same study suggests that 85% of Singaporean tourists and 70% of Americans find cleanliness to be an important factor when selecting a place to stay in 2022. 

The majority of travelers agree that restaurants and hotels shouldn’t return to their pre-Covid health policies as the pandemic waned. This means that travel agents should pay particular attention to hospitality businesses that have such things as track and trace, hand sanitizers, and perspex sneeze screens in place.



Novelty seeking

The findings of the Ipsos MORI survey show that most travelers seek novelty when planning their future travels. An astounding 75% of American tourists claim that it’s important for them to try or see something new. Notably, 74% of Australians hold exactly the same view. What’s interesting, though, is that more than a third of all tourists surveyed say that going to a new destination is more important for them today than it was in 2019.

Additionally, almost a third of respondents believe that the perfect vacation should be packed with as many different activities as possible. To satisfy this appetite for something new, travel agents should focus on destinations where it’s easy to find unique and interesting experiences.


Important factors in trip planning


To appeal to a modern traveler, become a modern agency

The Covid pandemic has changed the way people not only search for destinations but also perceive traveling as the whole. OTAs need to adjust to this reality and concentrate their marketing campaigns on the clients’ new needs. Btravel Online is a travel aggregator that offers a range of different products, ranging from customized itineraries to FIT bookings. Today, we pride ourselves on being trusted by more than 10,000 travel agencies worldwide. Many of them regularly leave rave reviews on our booking solution. 

As we’re here not to brag a lot, we’ll show you just one of them:

“Their all-in-one booking system helped our travel agency grow a large customer base within less than six months.”

Want to partner with us? It takes only a few clicks to contact us and we’ll write you back soon.