New data released today by Expedia Group™ Media Solutions, the global travel advertising platform connecting marketers with millions of travelers across the Expedia Group brands, 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 travelers.

A travel brand’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, and accessibility is influencing consumers’ purchasing decisions, with 7 in 10 consumers saying they are willing to pay more when making a travel choice that is more inclusive to all types of travelers. Furthermore, 78% of consumers said they’ve made a travel choice based on promotions or ads that they felt represented them through messaging or visuals.

The Inclusive Travel Insights Report: Understanding Traveler 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.

“At Expedia Group, we understand the importance of not o nly practicing inclusion within our teams and across our brands, but also empowering our travel advertising partners to do the same,” said Jenn McCarthy, Senior Director of Brand Marketing at Expedia Group Media Solutions. “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.”

Accessibility in Travel

• 92% of consumers agree that it’s important for travel providers to meet the accessibility needs of all travelers.
• Older generations are more likely to believe that accessibility is very important when making travel decisions, among 54% of Baby Boomers and Generation X, compared to 49% of the general population.

Diversity in Travel

• 7 in 10 consumers would choose a destina tion, lodging, or transportation option that is more inclusive of all types of travelers, even if it’s more expensive.
• 78% have made a travel choice based on representation in travel advertising, promotions, or ads they felt represented them through messaging or visuals, and for Millennials, this figure is the highest (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 2 in 5 consumers have purchased from local communities and/or minority groups while traveling 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.

Key Marketing Takeaways

• Be thoughtful in representing a variety of perspectives and assemble diverse imagery, recognizing 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 travelers of all backgrounds and all abilities.
• When using video, feature closed captioning and subtitles, and use legible fonts and contrasting colors to ensure content can be read by all.

For additional global insights on how consumers feel about inclusive travel and the opportunity for travel brands to welcome all travelers equally, download the full Inclusive Travel Insights Report. Expedia Group also recently released its annual Global Impact Report outlining the company’s efforts to help the travel industry be more accessible, equitable, and sustainable.

Check out the Media Solutions blog and connect on Twitter and LinkedIn for more travel trends and insights from custom research and more than 70 petabytes of exclusive global Expedia Group travel intent and demand data.

Research Methodology - Conducted in partnership with Wakefield Research, the study included an online survey of 11,000 representative, general population adults ages 18+ in 11 global markets – Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, the UK and U.S. – fielded between February 11 and March 6, 2022.

About Expedia Group Media Solutions

Expedia Group Media Solutions is the world's leading travel media network. We connect advertisers with hundreds of millions of travelers across the globe. Our exclusive first-party data on traveler trends, search behavior, and booking data provides travel marketers with unique insights to inform their strategies. We offer a full-funnel suite of solutions to help you convert travelers, and our digital experts can help you create advertising campaigns that deliver.

Ashley Goncena
Expedia Group Media Solutions