Nowadays, searching for information on the Internet seems to be an indispensable need for any traveler before departing a trip. Therefore, keeping up with changes in need of searching for information is an important first step that helps tourism businesses to reach travelers more effectively.

From the trends synthesized and analyzed in the reports "Vietnam's Search for Tomorrow 2020" and " Decoding Decisions: Making sense of the messy middle” published by Google, it can be seen that travelers’ needs of information searching are changing, which need to be quickly captured by tourism businesses.

Trend of searching for information on the Internet before shopping and on-demand economy

Searching for information on online channels has been a trend of smart consumers over the years since the Internet has developed rapidly and the digital transformation has been applied in almost every field. Nowadays, consumers not only search for information about products and services online but also want to catch the latest trends and interact with brands to meet their real-time needs about information, shop or purchase on online platforms.

According to data in Vietnam’s Search for Tomorrow 2020 by Google, 83% of consumers will research products online before buying. With products and services in tourism sector, up to 78% of consumers research information on this channel.

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In addition, on-demand economy is also growing with digital applications that meet the specific needs of consumers. Summaries from Vietnam’s Search for Tomorrow report show that consumers tend to increasingly specify and personalize search content to better meet their information needs. Not only looking for basic information of a trip such as accommodation or transportation, but travelers also want to look for information about amenities or services that are unique to each need at hotels or research information about specific experiential activities in a destination.

Understanding clearly travelers’ needs of information searching online will help tourism businesses reach customers more effectively

The time it takes from the moment a traveler has their travel intentions, searches for information to booking and departing is a long time decision-making process. In “Decoding Decisions: Making sense of the messy middle” report by Google, the decision-making process of consumers in general and travelers in particular, is a “messy middle” of exploring and evaluating information about products or services before going to booking action. They constantly browse from website to website, exploring and evaluating options.

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Therefore, DMOs as well as tourism businesses who want to keep travelers in online touchpoints, need to provide travelers with easy access to the information and keep up with the trend of personalizing search information.

  • Availability of information

The demand for information searching of travelers is increasing, therefore, tourism businesses should ensure the availability, full and easy access to information on online channels. Businesses should provide all the essential information about their products and services, such as basic information about the destinations, accommodations, interesting stories, unique experiences there to impress and inspire travelers.

In addition, travelers tend to refer to information from many different sources, so tourism businesses should ensure their presence on multiple platforms to increase brand awareness and support travelers during the evaluating and decision-making process. For example, according to the report “Vietnam's Search for Tomorrow 2020”, besides Google Search which is a popular search platform, YouTube is also a platform chosen by lots of Vietnamese consumers to seek information, research and entertainment in the first half of 2020.

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  • Detailed information and convenience

With the development of the trend of personalized tourism in recent years, travelers are becoming more and more active in looking for information and planning their trips. Therefore, travelers also demand and expect more about specific information and convenience when learning about destinations as well as when booking and payment.

Not only ensuring the availability of essential information for travel itineraries, but the information also needs to be detailed and specific appropriately. Detailed information will help travelers evaluate and make decisions easier and faster. On the contrary, unclear information will make travelers consider more and unconfident to choose.

In addition to information from businesses, reviews and comments from other travelers who have experienced the services are also an important source of information that travelers are interested in and trust.

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At the last but decisive steps like booking or online payment, convenience is an important factor. This requires tourism businesses to invest in their digital services to make the booking process simple and quick.

Conclusion

From two Google reports, it can be seen that the need of information searching on the Internet to make decisions of consumers is increasingly complicated. Reaching consumers in tourism sector via online touchpoints requires tourism businesses to understand and capture the changes in their behavior and need of looking for information, develop and apply digital to increase brand awareness, be present at right touchpoints and meet the information needs of travelers.

Source: Destination Review 

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