Travel Marketers! Americans are Ready to Make Summer Travel Plans

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After a long, cold winter, which seemed like it would never end for many, summer is nearly here. What does that mean for marketers? Americans are ready to put the snow and ice behind them and get away from it all – and they want to soak up some sun in the process.

The number of adults who plan to travel this summer is up more than 6% compared with last year. Nine out of 10 adults intend on taking at least one leisure trip this summer, according to the results of a survey released recently by TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website. Many of those people will take more than one trip and start early in the season, with an estimated 34% heading out of town on Memorial Day, the survey said.

In fact, industry groups predicted this past Memorial Day holiday to be the busiest in years, with more travelers on the road and in the air than any year since the recession began.

“While the start of summer brings thoughts of sandy beaches, warmer temperatures and tropical destinations, it is in fact the freezing cold winter that blanketed much of the country earlier this year that has generated hot demand for summer travel,” Marshall Doney, the chief operating officer of AAA told USA Today.

Where will Americans be spending that money this year? How will they get there? What will they do once they are there?

At least 45% will head to the beach/the ocean and 42% for a city break, according to TripAdvisor, while others will head for a National Park (21%), a lake (17%) or a resort (14%).

Topping TripAdvisor’s list of destinations Americans plan to visit between June 1 and August 31, 2014: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; New York; Las Vegas, Nevada; Destin, Florida; and Ocean City, Maryland.

Bookings for hotels and cruises are also strong compared with last year, say industry groups. Cruise bookings for Memorial Day were up 20%, according to AAA.

And more of those people are using multiple devices to research and book trips, meaning that savvy marketers need to think about integrating their plans across multiple channels.

According to a study by Mobiquity, 54% of travelers will use a tablet to research a trip, but actually book it on a desktop, while 42% will use their devices to book a trip on a mobile site or through a travel app.

That means marketers must work to make sure their mobile sites are functioning and load quickly, Yahoo! writes. According to the survey, 35% of respondents won’t use a site after having a bad experience, putting them at risk to lose out on the $25 billion in mobile travel bookings in 2014.

Travel marketers must not only analyze where people want to go and how they plan to get there, but also the means in which they’ll book a vacation. Reaching people through apps, social media and other channels means having a nimble plan and making sure it works quickly across all online properties.

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