The travel industry spends billions of dollars each year on digital marketing, yet 81% of online travel bookings are abandoned, according to a study by SalesCycle. In 2014, Boxever estimated that number to be worth nearly $1.78 trillion dollars. That’s a big number, and a lot of potential revenue left floating around. And for hotel marketers, that’s a problem!

In this article, we outline 5 common reasons why an online travel booking is abandoned, and some potential solutions to help increase your website conversions.

Checkout Optimization

First things first. If you want website visitors to convert, you need to make your website’s booking process quick, easy and convenient. This process is called “Checkout Optimization.”

Below are some common issues travel shoppers experience when booking accommodation online. Does your hotel website contribute to the issue, or help solve it?

5 Reasons Why a Travel Booking is Abandoned

Problem #1: Just looking

According to Boxever, more than 50% of travelers don’t have a set destination in mind when planning a trip. They’re browsing, price shopping; waiting for the right deal or right location to jump out at them. This causes the time to conversion in travel to be twice as long as in traditional retail. Sale Cycle further suggests that consumers often use the basket page as a way of creating a “wish list” and building up an idea of what their dream vacation would be.


While it may seem like there’s little you can do in this scenario, there are ways to persuade travel shoppers to firm up their travel plans. First, lead with visuals. If a travel shopper is not set on a location, and your property is situated in a great one, then show it off on your homepage. This applies to highway or airport hotels just as much as it does to beautiful beach-front properties. A good location is subjective to the traveler. Know who your ideal guest is and tailor your content accordingly.

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