Latest consumer research by Expedia has found customers spend on average five hours researching travel content in the 45 days before they make a booking.
The global OTA conducted the study with Luth Research to shed light on traveller behaviour trends as they shop for flights.
A survey was conducted between March 24 and April 19 this year among 5,713 adults in Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Mexico, and the UK and US who had booked online travel within the last six months.
The Path to Purchase report claims there is a growing influence of travel content with consumers spending 303 minutes engaging with it in the 45 days prior to booking.
Other key findings across the seven countries included that travellers view 141 pages of travel content in the 45 days prior to booking a trip, and as much as 277 pages for respondents in the US with these page views distributed throughout their path to purchase.
In the early stages of planning, research is more spread out (about 2.5 page views per day), while it increases exponentially in the few days prior to a booking, ending with 25 page views on the day of purchase.
The study also highlighted the top resources that travellers are using in the 45 days leading up to purchase with the top five being: OTAs, 80%, search engines, 61%, social media, 58%, airline websites, 54%, and price comparison websites, 51%.
Four in five of the respondents said they visit an OTA at some point before making a travel purchase.
Most respondents said they were undecided on where they would like to travel to before they start the trip planning process.
Nearly three in five said that they did not have a specific destination in mind, or considered multiple destinations when they first decided to take a trip (59%).
More than 80% of travellers from Mexico and 62% of travellers from the UK were undecided on their destination, indicating that these travellers may be even more open to destination inspiration.
Of those that use social media in the path to purchase, 77% said they use it for inspiration and nearly one in five (19%) said advertising influenced their decision to book a trip. This number was highest among travellers from Mexico at 40%.
Cheryl Miller, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Expedia for Business, said: “The traveller path to purchase is often complex, and full of twists and turns.
“This research highlights just how much thought and consideration travellers put into planning a trip in the weeks leading up to booking, as they seek to niche and refine their choices.
“This means there are many opportunities to connect with travellers before they make their decisions, underlining the importance of partnership, given that it’s essential to show up across multiple touchpoints and beyond your owned brand channels, as frequently as possible along this path.
“By providing actionable insights to help reach, inspire, and engage travellers during their path to purchase, we’re pleased to provide B2B travel partners with the tools required to convert their guests and customers.”