Travel Trends 2019: mobile bookings, card payments, Facebook support
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Vola.ro, the largest online travel agency in Romania, announces the trends in Romanians' travel from 2019.
The research was done through an analysis of the figures from the year 2018, compared with the year 2017, but also from previous years, tracking both the traffic from the site, as well as data from the platform, global third-party research and credible media sources to validate the findings. company generals.
Travel Trends NEVER
1. Year of mobile traffic: 2019 will be the first year that airline bookings will be made mainly from mobile
Analyzing the traffic on the website Vola.ro, which has increased overall by over 16%, reaching 7.8 millions in 2018, we notice a preference for accessing and booking using mobile devices.
Thus, in 2018, the annual average of the percentage of traffic on a mobile device was 71,71%, with 10 percentage points higher than in 2017. The difference is due to the decrease in desktop traffic (-13%) and that of the tablet (-23%). This trend will remain in 2019, estimated to reach 80% by the end of the year.
A flight search every 2 seconds
In 2018, Vola.ro recorded a flight search every two seconds, with 23% more than the previous year, ending with almost 380.000 of tickets issued throughout the year.
The way Vola.ro customers made reservations has changed dramatically: with up to 77% more bookings made on mobile, while the increase was only 13% on the desktop.
The general share was registered on 51% desktop and 49% on mobile, but under this growing trend, 2019 will be the first year that online bookings will be made predominantly from mobile.
2. The tendency to stabilize the price of air tickets: 158 euro the average price of an air ticket
In 2017, the average price of a plane ticket was 152 euros, thus reaching the lowest value in the last 4 years which marked a steady drop in prices.
In 2018, however, it has grown to 158 euros and it is for the first time in recent years when there is an increase. Vola.ro estimates that this trend will continue in 2019.
In 2018, cheapest ticket cost 5 euro and it was a low cost ticket to the destination of Brussels. The most expensive ticket was 17.400 euros and it was a ticket with a stopover in Paris, on the route Los Angeles - Bucharest and back.
On the other hand, only 23% of the airline tickets issued by Vola.ro had with them a luggage hold, decreasing with 2 percentage points compared to the year 2017. The average price of a hold baggage increased in 2018 with 3 euros, reaching 48 euros.
3. Last minute travelers booked: over 35% of Romanians buy their tickets a week before departure
The data shows a tendency to delay the purchase of air tickets. Although Romanians buy their flights on average with 28 days before the trip, over 35% of Romanians prefer to buy their tickets a week before departure (increasing from 2017) and only 31% plan their flights with more than a month before.
88% is the target for 2019 card payments
4. Card payments are growing even more: 88% is targeting card payments for the year 2019
If with 3 years ago there was still talk about bookings made online and paid offline, in 2019 the card payments will approach 90% of the total transactions, according to Vola.ro estimates.
Nearly 86% of travelers paid 2018 airline tickets compared to just 79% in 2017. Vola.ro estimates that the share of card payments will reach over 88% by the end of the year.
5. The need for direct contact with the travel agency increases. 320.000 of phone calls and 7000 of online conversations on Facebook recorded by Vola.ro in 2018
According to a Facebook study, 53% of customers would buy from a business they can communicate directly with, as confirmed by Vola.ro data, which recorded in 2018 over 320.000 of phone calls in the call center and over 912.000 of spoken minutes.
Both in Romania and globally, users have shown an increased interest in using multiple channels of direct online communication with travel customers, starting with Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp accounts that have registered increases in 2018: 7000 of online conversations initiated. on the messaging of the Facebook page Vola.ro.
87% of those who use this platform as a contact point with the travel agency are waiting for a response in 24 hours, and 20% will want to contact a consultant in less than an hour.
More and more travel platforms are turning to chatbots, which can take simultaneous requests from the first contact, thus facilitating direct communication with a consultant according to the clients' request. Globally, 30% of travel customers expect to find live chat on the website.
This trend is confirmed by Vola.ro customers, according to the data provided by the Customer Relations department which is available 24 / 7, both by telephone and online.