Even though same-day booking services have become very popular, only 1% of business and leisure travellers plan their journey 24 hours before the trip, ResearchNow has established in a survey commissioned by Sociomantic.
The study polled 1,000 travellers and the results revealed that there is a trend towards same-day hotel bookings, which might be an indication that there is now more spontaneous decision-making when it comes to finding a place to sleep. However, it was also clear that the basis of a trip is laid long before the hotel booking point.
Among the business travellers taking part in the survey, 15% said they planned their trip between one and seven days prior the journey. The majority of business travellers, or 57% to be precise, dedicate between seven and 21 days to trip planning. Just 1% leave planning for the final 24 hours before the trip.
By contrast, 70% of leisure travellers plan their journey at least 21 days before the departure date. However, in common with those travelling for business purposes, only 1% of leisure travellers plan their trip one day prior to departure.
Half of business travellers stated that they were fully in control of the planning process, while 29% said they had "some control." Just 2% said that anything planning-related was completely out of their control. For 52% of business travellers, convenience topped the list of priorities, followed by cost and comfort. Interestingly, though, a separate study by Google last year found that cost was the main priority for business travellers.
In terms of spending while they are away, business travellers placed food and drink in the top spots, with data plans coming third on the list.
With regard to leisure travellers, 58% cited cost as their main concern when planning a trip. Comfort and convenience were each considered a top priority by 21% of leisure travellers.
Leisure and business travellers both said that airline websites are among their preferred resources during the planning stage. As many as 97% of leisure travellers and 96% of business travellers cited hotel websites as a primary resource.
Google's study found that 60% of leisure travellers rely on search engines for planning, and 58% use hotel websites. For business travellers, the go-to resources for trip planning were found to be hotel websites and airline websites, cited by 68% and 57% respectively.
Deal websites are also a top planning resource, according to the Sociomantic study. Sites for finding airlines and hotels were cited by 71% and 63% of business travellers respectively, while the numbers in the leisure traveller contingent were 78% and 74% respectively. Finally, 59% of all participants said that seeing a personalised digital ad featuring discounts or other offers would make them more likely to make a purchase.