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As reported by Skift yesterday, findings from a recent report conducted by Sojern showed that the vast majority of US travellers are booking their travel alone. That is, in the second quarter of 2013, from April through June, 79% of American travellers booked solo travel whist just 2% made travel bookings for over three people.

Leisure vs Business

The report found that the solo travellers were much more likely to be on business trips than travellers who booked a trip for four people or more, who tended to be on leisure trips. Sojern’s report stated, “Group size is one of the key factors indicative of leisure versus business travel… In situations where colleagues are traveling together, they still typically purchase their tickets independently. This differs from leisure and family travel, as one person often purchases tickets for multiple people.”

Traveller Intent

There were also interesting findings relating to travellers’ intent, which saw them searching more for leisure destinations as opposed to for their general travel, which tended to be more business travel oriented. For example, whilst Orlando (7) and Fort Lauderdale (9) were in the top ten most searched destinations in the quarter, there weren’t amongst the top ten destinations actually travelled to. Similarly, business travel oriented destinations Houston (6) and Philadelphia (10) did not come up in the list of most searched destinations, despite being amongst the top ten most visited.

Understanding traveller planning and booking behaviours is essential for destinations and tourism organisations. The findings from the Sojern report highlight the different booking patterns observed within travellers, differentiating between business and leisure-based travel, where business travellers book as individuals and leisure travellers more frequently make group bookings. Similarly, their planning behaviours differ with leisure travel far more researched than the often-visited business travel destinations. For tourist boards, knowing where their destinations fit within these categories is very important in determining how best to communicate and connect with your customers.

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