Is the demand to purchase travel services offline still as low as in 2022?
August 29th, 2023, Bhavika Bansal

Is the demand to purchase travel services offline still as low as in 2022?

With more and more consumers making a move to digital buying channels, the role of brick-and-mortar stores has become less prominent but cannot be ignored. The IRL-shopping experience – and demand for it – differs between sectors. 

A recent YouGov Surveys: Serviced poll of 18 international markets shines a light on consumers' offline buying preferences across different product categories.

According to the data from the survey, traditional offline shopping is still more popular than online shopping across most product and service categories, especially in the case of groceries (64%), clothes (54%) and vehicles (53%). This stems possibly, from the lack of uniformity among products within these categories making it more beneficial for people to physically observe and compare products before committing to a purchase.

On the other hand, consumers are far more likely to shop online for insurance, travel services and video games, with less than a fifth saying that they would prefer to buy these products and services from a physical store – 18%, 15% and 10%, respectively.

Taking a closer look at the data for the travel sector reveals that the demand for buying travel services in-person is almost the same in June 2023 (15%) as it was in July 2022 (14%). However, a look at the data by market reveals some interesting differences.

Notably, the demand to buy travel services from physical establishments has more than doubled among consumers in Hong Kong (from 15% in 2022 to 34% in 2023). While a similar trend can be seen in Singapore (13% in 2022 to 17% in 2023), a smaller share of consumers in India (22% to 20%), Australia (17% to 15%) and Indonesia (12% to 5%) are likely to continue buying travel services offline.

There isn’t much difference between the share of consumers willing to purchase travel services offline in 2022 vs. 2023 when it comes to the UAE (22% vs. 21%). 

While consumers in Canada (15% in 2022 and 2023) and the US (9% in 2022 and 2023) show no change at all, Mexicans seem slightly more willing to switch to offline shopping when it comes to travel services (15% in 2022 to 17% in 2023).

Consumers across our polled European markets share similarly diverse opinions. From July 2022 to June 2023, offline travel services have seen a noticeable increase in demand among consumers in France (17% to 20%), Italy (13% to 15%) and Poland (13% to 15%). While an almost equal proportion of consumers are likely to continue buying such services from physical establishments in Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and Great Britain, Spain is the only European market where consumers are slightly more likely to move to digital channels in 2023 (18% vs. 19% in 2022). 

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 437 and 2,045 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in June 2023. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.