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Demand for information when searching for holidays has never been higher, yet the travel industry is not making the most of this opportunity and is failing to provide engaging online content – according to the latest research.

The data, compiled by Axonn Research (http://axonn.co.uk/axonn-research) and entitled ‘Sun, Sea and Content Marketing: Producing the Right Content for Travellers’, quizzed more than 470 professionals in the sector about their online marketing habits.

The report, which took four months to compile, found firms across the industry were underusing online content to drive sales and increase the average conversion rate – currently just three per cent.

Many of those quizzed showed an understanding of the tools available to them, yet an unwillingness to use them. For example, more than half (53%) of those polled stated they saw the value in producing video content, yet none of them had chosen to use it to increase their online visibility.

Similarly, just over a third of firms (34%) said they produced non-English content, yet more than half (53%) are not pursuing a multilingual strategy.

Just a quarter of those polled said they would be interested in using video content even though the medium is among the most successful in driving web traffic.

Social media was found to be the most common form of online customer engagement with 85 per cent of those polled using it to attract new customers. Sixty per cent of those quizzed said their companies produced online blog and news content, with more than eight in ten featuring content on their homepage.

Families were still the biggest target demographic, being prioritised by just under two-thirds of firms (65%). Forty-two per cent said they focused on attracting those interested in adventure holidays, with just over a quarter (28%) stating their focus was on green or budget getaways.

Joel Brandon-Bravo, UK managing director for Travelzoo, believes it is harder than ever to achieve customer retention in a market where brand loyalty is at an all-time low.

He said: “Consumers are doing more personal research than ever before they book a holiday yet this report shows firms are simply not doing enough to engage with and ultimately convert them into customers.

“With loyalty at an all-time low businesses need a differentiator and it seems many are turning a blind eye to the tools available to them to do so, which over time needs to change.”

Marc Turley, head of Axonn Research, said: “Gaining a better understanding of content marketing strategy is vital within the travel industry, especially when there is such a need to increase conversions from website visits.

“If those surveyed are willing to spend more time and resources implementing a strategy and being more adventurous when creating content to they will see the results they want.”

For more information or to access the full report, visit Axonn Research (http://www.axonn.co.uk/axonn-research/sun-sea-and-content-marketing).

Published on: 1:06PM on 27th November 2013