Nearly 80% of consumers base travel choices on ad representation

New data released by Expedia Group Media Solutions shows that consumers are paying attention to how inclusive current travel offerings are when searching and booking. While the travel industry has made strides, there is a need for continued improvement across the industry. Only 54% of consumers said they have seen options that are accessible to all abilities, and just 52% have seen options that are inclusive of all types of travelers.

A travel brand’s commitment to inclusion diversity, and accessibility is influencing consumers’ purchasing decisions, with seven in 10 consumers saying they are willing to pay more when making a travel choice that is more inclusive to all types of travelers. Furthermore, 78% of consumers said they’ve made a travel choice based on promotions or ads that they felt represented them through messaging or visuals.

The Inclusive Travel Insights Report: Understanding Traveler Values & Opportunities for Marketers, builds on the recent findings about environmentally responsible travel highlighted in the Sustainable Travel Study, revealing that people are increasingly seeking ways to have more meaningful and conscientious travel experiences.

“At Expedia Group, we understand the importance of not only practicing inclusion within our teams and across our brands, but also empowering our travel advertising partners to do the same,” said Jenn McCarthy, senior director, brand marketing, Expedia Group Media Solutions. “Our findings show that consumers today are paying close attention to whether travel brands are authentically demonstrating a commitment to inclusion, diversity and accessibility. A better understanding of how people perceive and value inclusive travel will help foster more inclusive and diverse travel experiences for all.”

Accessibility in travel

  • 92% of consumers agree that it’s important for travel providers to meet the accessibility needs of all travelers.
  • Older generations are more likely to believe that accessibility is very important when making travel decisions, among 54% of Baby Boomers and Generation X, compared to 49% of the general population.

Diversity in travel 

  • Seven in 10 consumers would choose a destination, lodging or transportation option that is more inclusive of all types of travelers, even if it’s more expensive.
  • 78% have made a travel choice based on representation in travel advertising, promotions or ads they felt represented them through messaging or visuals, and for Millennials, this figure is the highest (84%).

Local culture and community engagement 

  • 64% of consumers are interested in learning more about travel options that support local cultures and communities.
  • More than two in five consumers have purchased from local communities and/or minority groups while traveling in the past two years, while 46% visited local cultural or historic sites.
  • Nearly two-thirds of consumers would choose a travel option that supports local cultures and communities, even if it was more expensive.

Key marketing takeaways 

  • Be thoughtful in representing a variety of perspectives and assemble diverse imagery, recognizing that diversity can include races, genders, ages, families, couples, abilities, activities and more.
  • Use inclusive, welcoming and respectful language across all marketing and travel listings, while also highlighting amenities and accessibility for travelers of all backgrounds and all abilities.
  • When using video, feature closed-captioning and subtitles, and use legible fonts and contrasting colors to ensure content can be read by all.