How common is it for APAC’s travelers to change their minds about their holiday destination, accommodation, or flight? More than you might imagine.
Our latest study with Ipsos finds that 1 in 2 surveyed APAC travelers alter their destination, flight, or accommodation choices during their planning process. This tendency is even more pronounced in India and Thailand, where nearly 4 in 5 travelers change their minds before they make bookings.1
The willingness of people in APAC to reconsider their travel choices means it’s not enough for industry players like you to be their top pick while they’re making their plans. What matters is: Are you their ultimate choice?
Critically, the race to win mindshare and secure preference is already underway as travelers step up their trip planning. Across APAC, search interest in the topic of travel has grown by at least 6% in 2023 as compared with 2022,2 and in some markets like Japan, the growth has been 15%.3
To help you win travelers’ preference, bookings, and revenue, we surveyed seven key travel markets in APAC: Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand. Our findings reveal travel insights on what sways travelers’ decisions, and how you can respond in strategic ways to grow your bottom line.
What causes APAC’s travelers to change their minds
Travelers from APAC may change their minds but they’re hardly fickle. They’re simply focused on finding and choosing the best possible option to satisfy their personal interests and needs. And the yardstick for what they deem as best varies across the categories of destination, flight, and accommodation.
Here are the main reasons for why APAC’s travelers change their minds about their:
Ultimately, APAC’s travelers are single-minded about going on their dream holiday. This means they’re willing to go the distance as they plan and make decisions to fulfill their travel aspirations, even if it means changing their minds and plans.
It follows that more than 3 in 5 travelers in each surveyed market said they need to feel a strong sense of confidence that they've made the best decision before they book. It’s also why more than half of all respondents used other sources to cross-check the travel information they have to ensure it’s accurate.4
For your brand to influence travelers’ purchase decisions and win their confidence and bookings, there are two things you can do:
1. Be the constant and ultimate source of travel inspiration
Given how travelers’ decisions aren’t set in stone during their decision-making process, it’s important for you to inspire and capture their imagination at every stage of their trip planning journey.
Among the travelers surveyed in APAC, their No.1 source of travel inspiration is YouTube, compared to other sources, including video and social platforms and offline channels.5 And YouTube Shorts is one way you can fuel their wanderlust. Its rich, highly immersive video canvas lets you paint the inspiring getaway experience your brand provides and win the hearts and minds of travelers.
Besides sparking desire, you can spur action with your video campaign using the newly launched Demand Gen. The AI-powered campaign integrates your top-performing image and video assets across touchpoints like YouTube, YouTube Shorts, Discover, and Gmail, and lets you optimize your campaign to drive performance goals such as conversion.
For hotel and vacation rental advertisers, Hotel Feeds on Video action campaigns (alpha) can help you further stoke travel inspiration. The AI-powered campaign with the new feature displays a selection of your properties below your video ad in the form of a scrollable grid of listings. The listings are relevant to each viewer, who can click on a property that inspires them and get to the site to book a stay.
2. Be present with information that drives confident decisions
Our survey also uncovered the insight that APAC’s travelers are more likely to be confident in their booking choices and have higher repurchase intent when they’re satisfied with their experience of searching for information during trip planning.
In fact, those who’re satisfied with their search experience are 5X more likely to be very confident in their booking decision, and 3X more likely to have strong intent to rebook with the same airline or accommodation provider.6
That’s why you need to show up for travelers wherever and whenever they are searching, with relevant information that helps them feel confident about choosing you. You can do so with scale and precision using AI-driven Search and Performance Max campaigns.
That power pairing of AI marketing solutions lets you discover untapped demand and drive incremental results from new search queries, channels, and audiences. Use Search broad match with Smart Bidding to maximize conversions on relevant queries, and combine it with Performance Max to enhance your search query coverage across Google's full suite of channels, including YouTube, Display, Discover, Gmail, and Maps.
Hotel advertisers can also build customer confidence by satisfying travelers’ need for information using hotel campaigns. With it, you can bid for hotel ads that appear prominently when a traveler searches for a hotel on Search or Maps, and drive results, as seen in a recent study with an online travel agency. Of the respondents who searched and landed on a page that had both paid and organic hotel listings, 79% of them went on to click on paid hotel ads.7
APAC’s travelers are a savvy bunch. They’re willing to change their minds about their destination, flight, and accommodation, just so they make the best decisions for a memorable trip. And this traveler's behavior is a valuable opportunity for you to inspire and influence them as they dream and plan their trips, and to ultimately become their choice for bookings.
Contributor: Yongtae Park, Analyst, APAC Consumer and Market Insights