The travel industry spends billions of dollars every year driving traffic to their websites, yet 81% of visitors leave before completing their booking. SaleCycle decided to find out why.

As consumers, we’re all familiar with the idea of ‘shopping around’ for our dream holiday, or indeed just wanting to find a good deal on the next trip to visit family, friends or colleagues.

For marketers working in online travel – whether at an airline, hotel, OTA, cruise or car rental brand – booking abandonment can be a real headache, particularly if those abandoning consumers don’t return to complete their booking.

In September 2014, SaleCycle embarked on the first survey of its kind to ask why we abandon our bookings.

The Results

Before you take a look at our pretty infographic with the headline results (you’ve already peeked haven’t you!!), here are a couple of things to note about the audience surveyed:

  • 86% of people said they typically make their travel bookings online – with the rest preferring to book in person or by telephone;
  • Our lovely responders were in 12 countries across the globe, with the US, UK and Australia covering 64% of all responses;

And here’s what they said:

Booking Abandonment Infographic



Unsurprisingly, the most commonly cited reason for abandonment was that consumers were ‘not yet ready’ to book and were still in the ‘just looking’ process. This trend is common in shopping cart abandonment too, with consumers using the basket page as a way of creating ‘wish lists’ and building up an idea of what their dream purchase would be.

Price plays a huge part in the booking journey (hey, we all love a bargain right?) and a large proportion of responders highlighted they wanted to compare prices elsewhere before completing their booking.

This was highlighted further when asked ‘where’ in the journey people were likely to abandon, with over half citing the moment they are shown the total price as the point they’d most typically abandon.

It’s not all bad news though. A staggering 87% of consumers responded that they would be likely to search for the booking again, with 46% saying they would do so within 24 hours of abandoning the booking.

Right, all this booking talk has made me want to book a holiday… Vegas anyone?


Chris Sheen

Chris Sheen

Head of Marketing at SaleCycle
Chris is responsible for SaleCycle's global brand and marketing. He is passionate about online marketing, Chelsea Football Club and pepperoni pizza (although not necessarily in that order).
Chris Sheen


Head of Marketing @SaleCycle | #LoveWhatYouDo | Read my various musings on Econsultancy's blog:
RT @phil_thornton: Introducing....the @SaleCycle service proposition via @YouTube - 2 weeks ago