Trust emerges as pan-European constant for travel sites

A study by Yahoo has revealed  that “trustworthiness” is the most important characteristic for a  travel web site looking to appeal to users across Europe.

The survey asked 11,000 internet users in Europe’s five biggest online markets – UK, France Germany, Italy and Spain – a number of questions about travel web sites.

While trustworthiness emerged as the number one across Europe, the characteristic most preferred by Brits was ‘simplicity and clarity’ whil the French went for web sites that were ‘friendly’.

“Special offers and latest deals” emerged as the most desired content feature for a travel web site, followed by a price comparison tool.

The lowest priority was information about carbon footprints.

While evenings  are well-established as the prime time for researching travel, Brits emerged as  the most likely to be online after work during the week, with 62% doing so against a European average of 56%.

Germans are the most likely to be surfing travel sites during the evening at the weekend – 52% against an average 0f 46%.

Another finding of interest to marketers is the importance of word of mouth. When asked for two factors which would persuade them to try a new web site, 56% of the sample said word of mouth.

The next most popular channel was TV advertising and email, with a 19% response rate. Sponsored links as a means of persuasion are as popular as banner ads with 18%, while only 7% would respond to a pop-up.

Finally, Germans and Italians give the most credence to  reviews from other consumers. When asked how strongly on a scale on 0 to 10 they agreed with a question about whether reviews helped them decide to buy or not buy a travel product, German users came back with 7.4 and Italians 7.2 against an average of 6.8.

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