New data released by Expedia Group Media Solutions shows that 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% of consumers said they have seen options that are accessible to all abilities, and just 52% have seen options that are inclusive of all types of travellers.
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 for inclusive travel options. Furthermore, 78% of consumers said they have made a travel choice based on promotions or advertisements that they felt represented them through messaging or visuals.
The Inclusive Travel Insights Report: Understanding Traveller Values & Opportunities for Marketers, builds on the recent findings about environmentally responsible travel highlighted in the Sustainable Travel Study, revealing that people are increasingly seeking ways to have more meaningful and conscientious travel experiences.
The study included 11,000 representatives aged 18 and above in 11 global markets – Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, the UK and the US.
Accessibility in travel
92% of consumers agree that it is important for travel providers to meet the accessibility needs of all travellers, especially the older generations, with 54% of Baby Boomers and Generation X, compared to 49% of the general population.
Diversity in travel
Seven in 10 consumers would choose a destination, lodging, or transportation option that is more inclusive, even if it is more expensive. In addition, 78% have made a travel choice based on representation in travel advertising, promotions, or advertisements they felt represented them through messaging or visuals – with millennials at a high of 84%.
Local culture and community engagement
64% of consumers are interested in learning more about travel options that support local cultures and communities.
More than two in five consumers have purchased from local communities and/or minority groups while travelling in the past two years, while 46% 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.
In summary, marketers need to be thoughtful and represent a variety of perspectives and diverse imagery, recognising that diversity can include races, genders, ages, families, couples, abilities, activities, and more.
Use inclusive, welcoming, and respectful language across all marketing and travel listings, while also highlighting amenities and accessibility for travellers of all backgrounds and all abilities.
When using video, feature closed captioning and subtitles, and use legible fonts and contrasting colours to ensure content can be read by all.
Jenn McCarthy, senior director of brand marketing, Expedia Group Media Solutions said: “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.”