As we approach the summer and peak tourism periods for New York, Google reported on the rapidly changing methods in which people plan vacations. Since 60% – 70% of all Broadway attendance comes from tourists, Broadway needs to respond to these changes quickly.

Below is a quick summary of Google’s findings on travel planning online, and our take on how it will impact Broadway:

– Digital is the primary source of travel inspiration

◦ 65% of leisure travelers are inspired by online sources, most notably through social/video sites and search, while 42% of travelers are inspired to travel by YouTube content.

The Broadway Slant: Theater is a lush, visual artform that should thrive on online video platforms, as it does on TV commercials

– At the onset of planning, travelers increasingly turn to search first

◦ Travelers use a variety of search terms (both branded and nonbranded) throughout the research process.

The Broadway Slant: We at AKA have seen strong reach and engagement by doing Tourism targeting – this study further proves the validity of broad search engine marketing for Broadway.

– The research phase is a clear branding opportunity for marketers

◦ A majority of leisure and business bookers consider multiple brands when researching (regardless of category).

The Broadway Slant: Both among leisure and business bookers, the activities during their travel is not set and requires researching. This is a huge opportunity for influencing travelers to come to Broadway, especially by positioning it as a cornerstone of any New York trip.

– Mobile is critical at all stages and influences booking decisions

◦ Smartphones are used throughout the travel process, including for inspiration during “snackable moments.” Nearly half of those who use their smartphone for leisure travel inspiration ultimately book through another method/device. Only 23% of those who encounter a non-mobile-optimized site actually push through to complete their activity.

The Broadway Slant: This advocates for Mobile advertising and Mobile specific content, despite the intricacies of mobile booking. We can still inspire customers to see our show through Mobile, which turns into an online sale afterwards.

– TV viewing habits continue to fragment, and video is key for inspiration and planning

◦ One in three travelers (38%) watch television outside of live programming. Conversely, 66% of travelers watch online travel videos when they’re thinking about taking a trip, and 65% watch when they’re choosing a destination.

The Broadway Slant: In-Hotel TV buys are a thing of the past, as our customers have become more attentive on YouTube. Shows need to own the online video space in a large way, just as we do on Broadcast and Cable.

– Family trip planners are up for grabs

◦ Half of travelers are not set on a destination at the onset of planning. 45% plan to travel more with family in the coming year and often take children’s preferences into account.

The Broadway Slant: 8 years old is the median age for when children’s preferences effect travel decisions. This is an age range that Broadway can and does appeal to, which can be accomplished through targeted media placements and bespoke messaging.