When it comes to travel, traffic is normally a bad thing – but not online. Here, traffic is booming: travel sites reach over 12 million people a day, 30 million people a week and 41 million people a month.

How can we break this audience down to understand its subtleties and unlock its value?

We’ve used Ipsos iris to explore the three biggest holiday travel categories – Online Travel Agents, Hotel & Home Sharing and Airlines – and pull out some key insights to inform content planning, increase audiences and improve marketing performance.

New year, new opportunities

The January Sales are a crucial time in the travel sector, with all three categories recording their highest week of engagement during the first few weeks of the year.

Online travel agents see a particularly large surge during this period, with time spent browsing during the third week of January 48% higher versus the average across the year.

A female foundation

Women make up the majority of visitors across all three categories, so understanding these female holidaymakers is fundamental to driving engagement and increasing sales.

The audience across the trio of holiday categories is broadly similar, but Airlines attract a higher income audience that also identifies as more passionate about travelling and more interested in different cultures and lifestyles.

Exclusive audiences

Booking.com has the largest audience across the three categories, with over 15 million monthly visitors – some way ahead of the next biggest brands, Airbnb and easyJet (both 8.1 million).

Airbnb’s unique proposition does mean it has the largest exclusive audience in any of the categories, though.

Jet2 also performs very well: it is among the top five brands in both the Airlines and the Online Travel Agent categories. Of the airlines we looked at, it also has the smallest proportion of visitors that also use Skyscanner (19%), beating the likes of British Airways and easyJet.

News and social

Travel news sites provide an effective way of reaching these holidaymakers, with peaks in engagement largely mirroring our three categories. Not only are these readers active at the right times, they are also more likely to visit airlines (+66%), hotel & house sharing sites (+53%) and online travel agents (+48%) during the same month.

Social media provides another great means of finding the right audience for your brand. easyJet visitors, for example, are more likely to visit Pinterest and Snapchat than the average internet user, while British Airways visitors are more likely to visit Instagram and Twitter.

We can see that people who visit both easyJet and Pinterest skew particularly young and female and are more likely to be heavy online travel visitors. Each social media brand provides the opportunity to target more specific audiences with more tailored messaging.

Download the full report

Simply click Download to receive the full 40 page deep dive into the Travel category in pdf format.

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