Today’s consumers are accustomed to using multiple sources for travel research. But increasingly, they are turning to Web sites for up-to-date information. Frommer’s recently surveyed consumers to determine which factors are most important to them on Web sites and what problems might turn them away or to the competition.628985_all_packed

First, check out what consumers say are the most influential sources when it comes to selecting travel destinations:

  • Online 78%
  • Recommendations from friends 74%
  • Travel books 53%
  • Newspapers 20%
  • Travel agents 4%

And consumers make a destination selection based on the following factors:

  • Price 85%
  • Activities available that interest them 68%
  • Length of trip 65%

Once consumers have decided upon a destination, the intense research begins. Will they stay at a bed and breakfast inn? Does a resort appeal more? Will they rent a car? Hire a travel guide?

To answer these questions, they turn to Web sites and believe the following details are most important as they make their decisions:

  • Pictures of facilities
  • Written description
  • Destination map
  • List of activities and events

The trouble starts when consumers encounter the following Web site problems:

  • Confusing navigation
  • Few pictures
  • Insufficient, inaccurate or misleading information

As a travel industry operator, you may have invested significantly in your Web site to attract potential clients.  Make the right first impression and regularly maintain site navigation and content.

Read the rest of the survey details here.

[Source: Content and User Experience in Online Travel 2009, Frommer’s Unlimited]