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Published on Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Brits are fickle when it comes to travel brand loyalty

Travel brands must anticipate common 'pain points' in the holiday experience to win over fickle customers.

That was one of the conclusions of research by brand technology agency, Great State, which found 52% of UK holidaymakers do not consistently book with the same providers.

Its survey of 1000 UK consumers found lack of loyalty is highest amongst those in higher income brackets, with almost three quarters of those earning over £65,000 saying they never book with the same provider consistently.

Consumers aged 55+ are least trusting of any one brand to provide an end-to-end experience, with 15% saying they wouldn't trust any provider compared to a 9% average.

Matt Boffey, Great State co-founder and director of consulting, said: "The research showed older age groups to be more loyal, but less trusting. This could be because they've found what works for them and are sticking to it. Or perhaps age has made them wiser (or more cynical) towards brand claims."

The most trusted brands were listed as Thomas Cook, TUI, and Expedia, which were the same four brands that also came out as commanding the most loyalty amongst customers.

Interestingly TUI's now defunct brand, Thomson, came fifth in the league for loyalty.

The most common 'pain points' cited by British customers were delays and cancellations (53%) queues and congestion (36%) and unexpected or hidden extra costs (35%).

"It's clear from our research that holidaymakers are more demanding than ever. And given how many things still go wrong when people are travelling - like delays, lost baggage and missed connections - that means it's all too easy to disappoint consumers and lose them to an ever-expanding set of rivals," said Boffey.

"In this context, brands' first priority must be to develop a great end-to-end customer experience, where common pain points are anticipated, and potential disappointment is transformed into delight. It's the only path to winning a greater share of consumer attention, data and spend."

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