A study has found that when choosing an agent to book their vacation with, people prefer to use established brands like Thomson and Thomas Cook as well as online sites like Booking.com.
The research - conducted by the DMA and Foresight Factory, with partners Emarsys, Epsilon, Feefo and Wiraya - found that holidaygoers opted for well-known brands because they thought they were getting value for money (59%) and it was convenient (58%).
And when it comes to staying loyal to the brands, consumers preferred to stick with their chosen brand because they thought it would give them better deals (40%) and because of a previous good experience (53%).
Scott Logie, chairman of the DMA customer engagement committee, said: "It's particularly interesting to see the range of options favoured by customers. When people were asked to name their favourite companies to use for travel, the sheer volume of travel brands mentioned was somewhat surprising. From household names to local travel agents, as well as the new online intermediaries. As individuals we want choice, but we also want to ensure our holidays are hassle free, so we go with companies we trust - even if that is the small local travel agent."
Whilst DMA managing director Rachel Aldighieri added: "Holiday travel is both an exciting and stressful experience, with the chance for distrust and caution to arise in the customer's mind. Brands that can empathise with customers' needs at whatever stage of their holiday journey and create communications that reflect their needs will have the potential to build stronger relationships in the long run."
And sites like Booking.com understand the importance of good reviews on their websites.
Feefo chief marketing officer Matt West shared: "Trust is so critical to the travel business that successful companies such as Booking.com realise they must offer a platform that verifies reviews and presents them in a readily accessible but unvarnished format. It is no longer acceptable to plaster your website with phoney reviews praising your business. As the industry evolves further, authenticated reviews are going to be the touchstone for trust and transparency in the minds of increasing numbers of potential customers who can smell a rat when it comes to reviews that are fake or filtered."