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Customer Engagement: Focus on travel


The latest report in the DMA’s Customer Engagement research series focuses on the travel sector, revealing that consumer favour established brands and online travel booking sites.

When asked to name their favourite travel brand, Thomson was most mentioned, followed by and Thomas Cook. However, consumers also mentioned over 70 different brands, highlighting the wide range of brands engaging UK consumers.

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, the sheer volume of travel brands mentioned was somewhat surprising. 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.”

Top reasons for a customer remaining loyal to a travel brand are:

  • A good experience of the service
  • Getting good deals
  • The quality of the loyalty or a rewards

Trust in travel brands is a challenge the sector needs to address. Just over half of customers trust travel brands, lower than the nearly three quarters that trust in their supermarket.

New technologies may offer brands an opportunity to build these deeper relationships with customers, with consumers open to:

  • Use chatbots to help with pre-travel or booking questions
  • Sharing their data in order to receive mobile alerts about boarding directions and timings when in an airport
  • Using a virtual reality headset to see a hotel room
  • Using augmented reality to get information about the sites or attractions they visit

Rachel Aldighieri, MD at the DMA, said: “Holiday travel is both an exciting and stressful experience, with the chance for distrust and caution to arise in the customer’s mind. Brands that can empathise with customers’ needs at whatever stage of their holiday journey and create communications that reflect their needs will have the potential to build stronger relationships in the long run.”


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