Travel Agency Digital Channels Show Significant Increases While Travel is Halted
Beaverton, OR (April 8, 2020) – Passport Online Inc., the industry’s leader in travel agency digital technology, analyzed its unique travel agency data across consumer facing websites, social media channels, and booking technology for March to see what was happening on travel agency websites and social media channels while travel was halted.
Consumer shopping sessions were almost 3.2 million and click-through rates to supplier offers spiked to 16 percent. In comparison to 2019, Passport powered sites had an average click-through rate of 11.6%. March also saw a 12% bump in destination impressions on Passport-powered sites over the previous month of February and a higher click through rate of 3.7% in March showing that Passport’s travel agency customers are shopping supplier offers and planning for future travel.
In the last two weeks of March, following the ceasing of travel opportunities for consumers, Facebook activity for travel agency business Facebook pages also spiked. The most active posts of the month were all in the last two weeks between March 15 and March 31. More than a dozen unique posts shared on agency Facebook pages had higher than 35,000 organic views. The most viewed post was sent on March 30 and had more than 125,000 views. This post also had the most comments with 3039 and the most clicks with 4522. The most shared post was sent on March 21. It had 522 shares and 3141 likes. Consumers are clearly more engaged on social media now and seeking hopeful messaging suggesting that now is the perfect time to be active on social media channels and provide consumers an avenue to explore their future travel dreams.
“Consumers were on their agency’s websites searching travel options for the future. And, they were liking, commenting and sharing their agency’s Facebook posts,” said Jeanne Colombo, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, Passport Online. “If there is a bright light in the current darkness for our industry, it is that our travel agency customers have developed strong digital relationships with their consumers. Consumers were engaged more than usual on their agency’s digital pages clicking, researching, dreaming and sharing with others.”
Passport also has data in the b-to-b booking space, with hundreds of travel agencies using its Tandem online cruise/tour/day trips booking tool. As expected, bookings came to a halt for April and May, but bookings continue to be steady and 80% of bookings made since the pandemic hit include both rebookings for cancelled sailings and brand new bookings for sailings, in the next nine months.
Passport Online is in the unique position to monitor consumer interaction with their travel agency as the company helps more than 7,500 travel agencies create, expand and diversify their digital footprint through websites, social media and email marketing. The reach grows exponentially as Passport powers digital tools for more than 35,000 agents in partnership with many of the industry consortia and host agencies as well as hundreds of independent agencies.
Passport’s analysis of social media engagement for its ESP Facebook Posting service customers shows steady growth and engagement. ESP powers more than 1,600 travel agency Facebook business pages with nearly 2 million followers.
For more information on the website products, contact Jeanne Colombo at [email protected].
About Passport Online
Passport Online is the leisure travel industry leader in website, web content, email marketing, and social media solutions. Passport also offers state of the art cruise and tour booking engine solutions for b-to-b and b-to-c needs. A major distribution channel for leisure travel suppliers to connect with the leading consortia, retail agencies, professional home-based agent networks, and their clients, Passport Online enables millions of consumer shopping sessions on thousands of travel agency websites. For more information, visit www.passportonlineinc.com.