According to new data released by Expedia Group Media Solutions, consumers are paying attention to how inclusive current travel offerings are when searching and booking. While the travel industry has made strides, there is a need for continued improvement across the industry. Only 54 percent of consumers said they have seen options that are accessible to all abilities, and just 52 percent have seen options that are inclusive of all types of travelers.
A travel brand’s commitment to inclusion, diversity and accessibility is influencing consumers’ purchasing decisions, with seven in 10 consumers saying they are willing to pay more when making a travel choice that is more inclusive to all types of travelers. Furthermore, 78 percent of consumers said they’ve made a travel choice based on promotions or ads that they felt represented them through messaging or visuals.
The Inclusive Travel Insights Report: Understanding Traveler Values and Opportunities for Marketers, builds on the recent findings about environmentally responsible travel highlighted in the Sustainable Travel Study, suggesting that people are increasingly seeking ways to have more meaningful and conscientious travel experiences.
“At Expedia Group, we understand the importance of not only practicing inclusion within our teams and across our brands, but also empowering our travel advertising partners to do the same,” said Jenn McCarthy, senior director of brand marketing at Expedia Group Media Solutions, in a statement. “Our findings show that consumers today are paying close attention to whether travel brands are authentically demonstrating a commitment to inclusion, diversity, and accessibility. A better understanding of how people perceive and value inclusive travel will help foster more inclusive and diverse travel experiences for all.”
Accessibility in Travel
- 92 percent of consumers agree that it’s important for travel providers to meet the accessibility needs of all travelers.
- Older generations are more likely to believe that accessibility is very important when making travel decisions, among 54 percent of Baby Boomers and Generation X, compared to 49 percent of the general population.
Diversity in Travel
- 7 in 10 consumers would choose a destination, lodging, or transportation option that is more inclusive of all types of travelers, even if it’s more expensive.
- 78 percent have made a travel choice based on representation in travel advertising, promotions or ads they felt represented them through messaging or visuals, and for Millennials, this figure is the highest (84 percent).
Local Culture and Community Engagement
- 64 percent of consumers are interested in learning more about travel options that support local cultures and communities.
- More than 2 in 5 consumers have purchased from local communities and/or minority groups while traveling in the past two years, while 46 percent visited local cultural or historical sites.
- Nearly two-thirds of consumers would choose a travel option that supports local cultures and communities, even if it was more expensive.
Key Marketing Takeaways
- Be thoughtful in representing a variety of perspectives and assemble diverse imagery, recognizing that diversity can include races, genders, ages, families, couples, abilities and activities.
- Use inclusive, welcoming, and respectful language across all marketing and travel listings, while also highlighting amenities and accessibility for travelers of all backgrounds and all abilities.
- When using video, feature closed captioning and subtitles, and use legible fonts and contrasting colors to ensure content can be read by all.