Understanding Traveler Emotions May be the Key to Meeting Expectations Across the Travel Journey

April 6, 2015

Travel ebook

Within the travel industry, mobile continues along a steady growth trajectory. Since 2013, there has been a 50% increase in mobile use for business and leisure travelers alike (eConsultancy). With this spike in mobile usage come user expectations for the experiences offered by brands on mobile. Usablenet’s Travel eBook delves into the diverse emotional states of travelers across the travel experience, and offers tips on how to meet the complex needs of mobile users. Based on our research, travelers have various expectations throughout their journey which impact their experience.

Early Stages: Inspiration, Research and Booking

Throughout the initial stages of the travel experience, apprehension is the most significant emotion for travelers. Travelers are concerned about the reliability of content they encounter on mobile, as well as overarching security and performance issues. Near two-thirds of travelers who encounter a non-mobile-optimized website bounce back to their search results. According to our research, 87% of travelers prefer to book on tablets because of higher quality visuals. Ensuring that navigation is clear and intuitive on mobile and that the quality of visual content is high will help ease travelers’ research and browsing concerns. Meanwhile, improved performance and security will encourage more travelers to complete bookings on mobile devices.

During Trip: Traveling and In-Destination

When offered information not relevant to their trip, travelers often feel that brands do not understand them. Both during and throughout a trip, travelers expect relevant information from travel brands, and particularly value information about local attractions and points of interest. Traveling users want personalized content. Brands like The Ritz-Carlton, which offer “on-property” mode and local information on their app, use their content and offerings on mobile to make guests feel that their specific needs are being met.


According to our research, nearly all travelers said they would not be inclined to share their travel experience on a brand’s site unless it was convenient or beneficial to them. Creating incentive for travelers to share their experiences on a brand’s mobile site or social media page –along with integrating mobile into loyalty programs – is key to getting travelers to engage with brands effectively. This engagement, in turn, will ensure engagement at the start of the next journey. 

Travelers across all stages of their journey, from research to in-destination experiences, are increasingly turning to mobile to speed up the booking process and enrich their overall journey. It is critical for brands to understand travelers’ expectations in order to consistently deliver positive experiences. For more insights on traveler emotions and expectations, as well as examples of travel brands who are getting it right, download our eBook here.


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