Travellers favour established brands and online travel booking sites, according to the latest Customer Engagement: Travel report released today by the DMA.
When asked to name their favourite travel brand, Thomson was most mentioned, followed by Booking.com and Thomas Cook.
However, consumers also mentioned over 70 different brands, highlighting the wide range of brands engaging UK consumers.
According to the research, conducted by the DMA and Foresight Factory, with partners Emarsys, Epsilon, Feefo and Wiraya, what consumers want more from travel brands is value for money, which was considered important by 59% of respondents, convenience which got a vote of 58% and good customer service, which was of importance to 58% of respondents.
The top reasons consumers remained loyal to brands in the sector repeat similar themes of good service experience (53%) and good deals (40%), with the addition of a good loyalty or a rewards scheme (40%) to the top three.
Scott Logie, chair of the DMA Customer Engagement Committee and MD at REaD Group Insight, said: “It’s particularly interesting to see the range of options favoured by customers.
“When people were asked to name their favourite companies to use for travel, the sheer
volume of travel brands mentioned was somewhat surprising.”
He added: “From household names to local travel agents, as well as the new online intermediaries. As individuals we want choice, but we also want to ensure our holidays are hassle free, so we go with companies we trust – even if that is the small local travel agent.”
Respondents named hotel and accommodation brands as the most trusted with 65% suggesting so, while airlines and online booking and comparison websites were trusted by 55% and 54% respectively.
Technology also proved to be a sought after factor with 52% for respondents willing to use a chatbot to help with pre-travel queries and 51% willing to receive mobile alerts regarding flight information.
Some 53% of those asked were interested in using a virtual reality headset to preview a hotel room while 44% would like to use augmented reality to get information about the sites or attractions they visit.