Industry Update
Performance22 October 2015

Fifty Percent of Holiday Travelers Wait for Last Minute Deals Before Booking

Research from ADARA Indicates Travel Planning Has Yet to Reach its Annual Peak​

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Adara Media, Inc.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- New research from ADARA, the leader in leveraging global travel data to drive future business performance, reveals that there is still time for marketers to influence holiday travelers who are in the planning and pre-purchase modes. TheHoliday 2015 Travel Prediction report shows that in 2014, only half of all holiday flights were booked by November 17, and half of all holiday hotel stays were booked after December 14.​

Based on its relationships with more than 90 global travel brands, ADARA's transactional travel data, combined with real-time analysis of travel searches, reveals unique patterns from past seasons that help marketers determine the impact on future travel. The report indicates that marketers can expect a large amount of last-minute holiday travel bookings in 2015, and ultimately, plenty of opportunities to engage key audiences.

"Marketers still have time to reach and engage potential holiday travelers with creative, relevant, and targeted advertising campaigns, but they have to act now," said Elizabeth Harz, president of media, ADARA. "According to the data, the sweet spot for suppliers to target holiday travelers is during the flight search window, which is fast approaching, between November 17 and December 14. By getting their message and offers in front of potential travelers today, marketers can help drive consideration and bookings during this critical time period for holiday travel."

While the data indicates that consumers search for the best deal, sometimes pushing up against the eleventh hour, not everyone waits until last minute. Family travelers are the segment most likely to purchase in advance, prioritizing air travel over accommodations, likely to avoid paying for hefty air fares. For flights, the search to booking window is similar across traveler types, but the advanced purchase window varies widely; from nearly 70 days in advance for families, to just 34 days for solo travelers.

When it comes to booking hotel stays, surprisingly, half of 2014 family bookings were made only a week in advance. This shows that family travelers are likely searching for last-minute deals at their destination, and there is a significant opportunity for hotel marketers to reach and convert these bookers through targeted and relevant offers.

Travelers invest a significant amount of time to ensure that their trip is within budget, while satisfying their expectations of the destination. With more than 60 percent of international flights lasting two to three weeks, travelers spend time planning their trip, and researching flight and hotel deals, especially in exotic locations. During Q1-Q3 2015, there was a higher ratio of bookings to searches for locations like Honolulu and Kahului (60 searches), compared to Buffalo and Milwaukee (30 searches).

For more information on how ADARA can help differentiate your marketing, contact [email protected].

*All data refers to searches and bookings during the time periods defined: Friday, December 19, 2014 – Sunday, January 4, 2015 (Holiday 2014) and Friday, December 18, 2015 – Sunday, January 3, 2016 (Holiday 2015).


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About Adara

ADARA enables consumer brands to make better decisions by delivering critical customer intelligence on intent, spend and value linked to an identity graph. We apply our proprietary machine learning and AI capabilities to ethically-sourced and ethically-deployed data from over 270 global data partners. ADARA drives how our clients personalize interactions with their customers at every stage of the lifecycle optimizing the revenue potential of each individual.

More information about Adara can be found at

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