Data from the Brain Trust CS Tourism Barometer
  • Half of Spaniards plan and book their trip at least 2 months before it starts.
  • Spaniards mostly opt to buy individual services and pay with debit cards.
  • Although the computer continues to lead online shopping, the use of mobile phones to buy travel increases to 14%.
  • 36% of Spaniards book their trips directly on company websites, followed by online agencies (35%) and in-person travel agencies (21%).

The latest wave of the Brain Trust CS Tourism Barometer analyses how Spaniards shop for leisure travel.

According to the data, the Spanish leisure traveller is a person who buys his or her trip two months in advance, opting to contract individual services directly on the brands' websites, which he or she accesses from his or her computer, and pays for the booking by credit card.

Farsighted travellers who demand personalised attention

Spanish travellers tend to book their trips in advance, with only 2 out of 10 people booking their holidays less than a month in advance. The greatest weight of purchases is made between two months and one month in advance, when 26% of Spaniards make their bookings.

These purchases are mostly made through company websites (36%), followed by online agencies (35%) and in person (21%).

In the case of airline ticket purchases, the reasons that lead them to opt for direct purchase through the airlines' websites are to receive personalised attention (21%), ease and convenience of use (19%) and to have greater flexibility in terms of routes and dates (16%).

In the case of accommodation, to these reasons must be added the option of accessing special conditions such as late check-in, a reason for 13% of travellers.

As alternative channels, 17% of Spaniards use comparators or aggregators to make their bookings, while 10% prefer to book directly once they have arrived at their destination.

Mobile gains weight in travel sales

Although the computer (both PC and laptop) continues to lead online shopping, it is noteworthy how the mobile phone is gaining weight as the preferred device for making travel bookings, having been chosen as the favourite channel by 14% of travellers compared to 11% the previous year.

These mobile purchases are made in 53% of cases via the web, and only 11% say they make their purchases via an app. The remaining 36% say they use both channels, depending on the occasion.

Individual services are booked more and organised packages less.

It seems that the advent of technology and the ease of accessing the provider directly has led 6 out of 10 travellers to contract individual services, while only 19% and 14% choose to contract dynamic or organised packages respectively.

Travel is paid for by card

Payments for bookings are mostly made by debit card (40%), although there is still more than a quarter of the market that still uses cash (32%). It is noteworthy that young people and lower-income households are the most likely to use the latter form of payment.

For Angel García Butragueño, Director of Barómetro Turístico, "Spaniards are evolving in their behaviour and consumption and travel buying habits, and suppliers must adapt to personalise the experiences of travellers who are less and less loyal to brands, and who are looking for a differential value, regardless of the price they are willing to pay. Only the company that understands the needs of the new traveller will remain in the market, the rest will be left behind, as a result of an increasingly demanding consumer".