Global Travelers Speak: New iStock Research Unveils Crucial Factors Shaping Travelers’ Purchasing Decisions Worldwide

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Study of 7,000 Adults in 25 Countries Reveals Key Insights for Impactful Destination Marketing Campaigns

  • Consumers look for travel-related visuals that resemble themselves and their own life experiences.
  • Casual and affordable experiences are preferred over glamorous or luxurious vacations, especially with older generations.
  • Genuine experiences and connection with locals are a priority among consumers, with increasing preference among older generations.
  • Video is a preferred format for travel marketing when compared to still photos due to its ability to immerse viewers in the overall travel experience.

NEW YORK, Aug. 22, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- iStock, a leading e-commerce platform providing premium content to SMBs, SMEs, creatives, and students everywhere, today announced the results of its latest global VisualGPS research, revealing how images and videos are influencing travelers' purchasing decisions across the world. This extensive study captured the sentiment, of more than 7,000 adults in over 25 countries worldwide, such as Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Singapore, the UK, and the US.

The study revealed that a pivotal factor influencing travelers’ decision making is seeing people that resemble themselves in travel and tourism marketing, with 75% of respondents across all countries and demographics preferring visual content that depict situations where they can imagine themselves, family, and friends, enjoying the destination.

There were also compelling findings as it relates to preferences across age groups. Overall, casual and affordable experiences are taking priority (75%) over luxury escapes and glamorous purchases (15%), but preferences are stronger with Gen X/Boomers (80%) versus Gen Z/Millennials (68%), showing a growing preference for relatable and accessible visual storytelling as individuals mature.

Moreover, older adults (6 out of 10 Boomers) exhibit a distinct preference for travel imagery featuring locals rather than tourists or vacationers as compared to Gen Z (4 out of 10), suggesting an evolving preference for genuine experiences and connection with local communities correlated with age.

Lastly, video also emerged as a favored content format. While still photos are considered significant (30%), the research shows that video content (53%) holds greater influence due to its exceptional ability to immerse viewers in the captivating beauty of destinations, the excitement of thrilling activities, and the enriching experiences that resonate deeply with people worldwide.

“Through our ongoing VisualGPS research we have been able to unlock visual cues that shape travelers' choices, allowing us to help small businesses navigate the crowded visual landscape and understand what drives their audiences,” said, Jacqueline Bourke, Creative Insights Director for EMEA at iStock. “From the rise of experiential video to the growing preference for relatable and affordable experiences, our study aims to help businesses craft compelling visual narratives that speak to travelers everywhere.”

iStock's visual content experts share the following recommendations to create impactful travel marketing campaigns to help SMBs boost sales for future campaigns:

  • Visualize Experiences, Not Places: Emphasize the experiences people have in a place rather than merely symbolizing the destination. Showcase local culture, traditions, and immersive activities. Prioritize relatable over aspirational.

  • Incorporate Real Imagery: Using real imagery to showcase authentic travel experiences. Photographs and videos captured in "the real world" can evoke genuine emotions and foster a stronger connection with potential travelers.

  • Diversity and Inclusion: Reflect the diversity of your customers in your marketing materials. Showcasing individuals from various backgrounds and cultures will resonate strongly, instilling a sense of inclusivity and representation.

  • Video at the Forefront: Harness the power of video to its fullest extent. Why? Video possesses a unique ability to immerse viewers in visually stimulating narratives. It serves as a very compelling format for telling visually compelling stories that resonate with viewers and ultimately drive sales.

To find relevant imagery and videos, go to:

Media Contact:
Ilse Noguez