Survey finds web ads are more influential

Print advertising by travel companies is becoming less effective at clinching bookings as increasing numbers of people turn to the Internet for holiday information.

A consumer survey by research market research company BDRC revealed only 16% had been influenced in their hotel selection by press advertising. This is despite almost half of the industry’s marketing budget being spent in newspapers and magazines.

Online advertising commanded a 28% share of marketing spend by hotels but achieved a 30% booking influence rate in the survey, BDRC said, making it the most influential media for hotel selection – ahead of TV, also with 16%.

The survey follows recent comments by the Guardian marketing director Marc Sands, who admitted the Internet posed a “huge threat” to newspapers, with travel advertising likely to follow recruitment and car in their migration online.

“The travel area, as well as property, will be the biggest area to suffer most strongly,” Sands told a publishing conference in Dubai in March.

The switch is also likely to pose problems for hotels, BDRC said, as “awareness” of advertising remained high but it didn’t translate into bookings.

“The hotels need to make a decision as to where they want to spend their money,” BDRC associate director Tim Sander said.

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