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UK Insights

Who are the most talked about travel brands in the UK?

Matt Dodd

Managing Director, Analytics, Media & Digital, UK & Ireland

Brands 21.08.2019 / 15:00

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Emirates holds onto no.1 spot, with Booking.com now in 2nd place, according to Kantar analysis of online and offline conversations.

A rise in the number of conversations about travel booking site Booking.com has seen it jump to second place in Kantar’s ranking of most talked about travel and tourism brands in the first half of 2019. The ranking combines TotalSocial®analysis of online and offline conversations, including public posts and shares on social media and blogs, with consumer surveys to understand how people pass on information and talk about specific brands in their daily lives. 

Despite the challenges facing the travel sector, driven by Brexit and poor currency exchange rates, Booking.com is gaining more share of voice and outperforming others in the aggregator category, which saw trivago, TripAdvisor and Travel Republic all suffer declines in the number of conversations.

In a sector that has become increasingly commoditised, we’ve seen Booking.com shift marketing focus in recent years, moving away from mainly search that drives sales, to investing in TV and online video ads as part of a long-term brand building strategy. As Kantar’s recent Mastering Momentum study showed, over reliance on marketing activities that deliver short-term sales growth will impact the ability of a business to lock in long-term market share growth.

This new bolder brand positioning, which focuses on travel ‘as an experience’, has had a major impact on its overall score, with a strong uplift in online conversations and engagement in particular.

TotalSocial Ranking of Travel and Tourism Brands H1 2019:

2019

TotalSocial Score

     
 

Average/100 pts

2019

2018

Movers

Emirates

60.3

1

1

0

Booking.com

59

2

5

3

Premier Inn

56.3

3

10

7

British Airways

55.6

4

9

5

P&O

55.4

5

3

-2

Jet2

55.4

6

2

-4

Airbnb

53

7

4

-3

Virgin (Holidays, General)

51.6

8

11

3

Virgin Atlantic

50.6

9

7

-2

Expedia

50.1

10

12

2

Hilton

49.6

11

18

7

Royal Caribbean

48.9

12

21

9

TripAdvisor

47.9

13

6

-7

Haven

47.2

14

20

6

EasyJet

46.6

15

13

-2

Ryanair

46.4

16

19

3

Thomas Cook

46.3

17

15

-2

TUI/Thomson

46.2

18

14

-4

Travelodge

45.3

19

17

-2

Travelrepublic.co.uk

43.6

20

16

-4

First Choice

43.6

21

22

1

trivago

43.2

22

8

-14

National Express

41.6

23

24

1

Eurostar

40.9

24

23

-1

London Underground (Tube)

40.2

25

28

3

KLM

39.4

26

27

1

Saga

37.7

27

25

-2

Virgin Trains

31.6

28

26

-2

Monarch

23.5

29

29

0

 

Make sure you measure the full conversation

The TotalSocial ranking also shows big differences between a brand’s online and offline conversations, and highlights the importance for brands, particularly in a competitive sector like travel, to see the full picture and measure both online and offline activity in tandem.

Brands focus on online measurement because of the value placed on social media today, but online is only one part of the story and, as we can see from our ranking, there are often huge differences between online and offline. If travel brands are making assumptions based on online conversations only, they are missing out on a huge demographic of audiences offline who have the power to influence bookings.

Key highlights: TotalSocial Travel Brands H1 2019

  • Emirates (no.1) held the top spot, due to high brand sharing and influencers talking about their positive experiences of the airline.
  • The UK’s biggest hotel brand, Premier Inn (no.3) with its “A good night's sleep guaranteed” customer promise continues to do well with a 7-point increase over last year, driven by online activity.
  • Airbnb needs to do more to gain traction as an all-round booking site as it slips three positions from no.4 to no.7
  • Expedia (no.10) is holding its own in the category with a 4-point increase online and a smaller 1-point increase offline.
  • Despite recent problems, British Airways (no.4) shows sentiment gains, particularly online, and saw a 5-point increase in its overall TotalSocial score.
  • Virgin Holidays (no.8) saw a drop of 10 points in its online score, but an 8-point increase in its offline score, driven mainly by its sentiment scores, i.e. how loved they are.
  • Thomas Cook (no.17) saw a boost in offline conversations of 5 points, but saw an overall drop in the ranking because of a big decline in online conversations (down 6 points).

 

Source : Kantar

Editor's Notes

TotalSocial® is the social intelligence platform of US-based data and analytics firm Engagement Labs.  It combines analysis of public posts and shares on social media and blogs with consumer surveys to understand how people pass on information and talk about specific brands in their daily lives. Scores are calculated using four key metrics: volume of conversation; sentiment (positive or negative); brand sharing via social platforms, such as ‘likes’ or retweets; and talking about a brand’s offline marketing, such as TV or radio ads.

To learn more, visit www.kantar.com/analytics/totalsocial.

 

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