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STR releases consumer travel insights report on OTAs, rental platforms

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EDINBURGH, Scotland—STR’s Consumer Travel Insights 2019 report series revealed several key findings regarding traveller motivations and budgeting, emphasis on online-travel-agency (OTA) services, and use of rental platforms such as Airbnb and HomeAway.  

The five-report series, compiled by STR’s Tourism Consumer Insights team, examined each stage of the traveller journey—planning, booking, budgeting and how technology and travel brands interact with travelling. Independent research was conducted in October 2018 using STR’s Traveller Panel—a unique community of approximately 28,000 engaged travellers from across the globe. Overall, 2,228 panelists took part in the research and were asked about their behaviour and experiences regarding their most recent international holiday.

“We are very excited to launch our latest Consumer Travel Insights report series,” said Sean Morgan, STR’s director of research. “The rapid advent of new technologies and the continuous shifting of consumer perceptions pose both opportunities and challenges for the travel and tourism sector. Be it examining the role of exchange rates on holiday choices or the usage of OTAs or views on over-tourism, this compact reports series identifies key traveller trends and provides actionable intelligence for tourism professionals.”

Key findings included:

  • 69% of travellers used online review sites. TripAdvisor was a particularly popular planning resource used by 40% of travellers. However, word of mouth was still very important with 51% of travellers using personal recommendations to help plan their trip.
  • Of those who booked their holiday through an OTA, 55% used the service because it enabled comparison of multiple accommodation options. Only 29% of travellers utilised the service because it offered the best deal.
  • Perceptions of value for money heavily influenced accommodation decisions. This finding was especially pronounced among millennial travellers, as 77% chose their accommodation because it offered value for money.
  • 52% of travellers set a budget for their most recent trip, but 29% of budgetters overspent their allotted amount.
  • 41% of travellers have at some point used Airbnb, with 92% being aware of the property sharing service. These results indicate that Airbnb usage is greater than awareness of its next-closest home-sharing competitor—HomeAway was used by 9% of travellers and 35% were aware of the platform.

A complimentary report outlining the “Overview of the Traveller Journey” as well as the full five-report series are available HERE

About STR
STR provides clients from multiple market sectors with premium, global data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights. Founded in 1985, STR maintains a presence in 15 countries with a corporate North American headquarters in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and an international headquarters in London, England. For more information, please visit

Media Contact:
Naureen Ahmed
Director of Marketing, Research & Analysis
+44 (0)207 922 1965