Understanding the look-to-book KPI in the travel industry

There are many key performance indicators (KPI) in the travel industry, and one that is critical to travel business health is the look-to-book KPI. Put simply, it is the number of people that book via your travel business website vs the number of people who visit but take no action.

The ideal KPI ratio is 1:1. i.e. one visitor one booking. Through understanding the look to book ratio, you can make business-critical decisions to improve the performance of your website and drive up profits.

travel industry KPILook-to-book KPI explained

There are many factors which control the look to book ratio. Many factors influence buying behaviour. Here’s a snapshot:

  • World events – Obviously, travel has been hit severely by the coronavirus. This is further influenced by governmental decisions on both a global and national scale.
  • Economy – People are more likely to book in good times and less likely when times are bad. Currently, job losses are happening, and the prediction is that more job losses can be expected in the future.
  • Country – If your travel business serves a particular market, say the Spanish market, conditions in Spain will affect buying decisions. Influences are obviously infection rates and rules around the coronavirus.
  • The lockdown – As most countries locked-down society the need to get some sea and sun has increased beyond what we ever thought possible.

All these factors will have an impact on your KPI. The solution to maintaining a healthy look to book ratio and business survival is to adapt to your new market.

Although it looks bleak, there are opportunities. Let’s explore these in more depth.

Opportunities in travel

Through any kind of recession or world event, the companies that survive it and come through it stronger are the ones that keep going. Winston Churchill, when talking about his depression, said, “if you’re going through hell keep going.” And this is what you must do.

So with this in mind, remember:

  • Your competitors may be going out of business. This is horrible to highlight, but it is an opportunity to leverage. Fewer players in your market equate to more business for you.
  • Your market has changed. Down to a range of factors, your market now is very different from what your market was a year ago. As such, you should tailor your marketing and your landing page accordingly. This will make for a healthier look to book ratio.
  • Keep marketing as much as you can. Companies that go under during recessions are mostly ones that stopped marketing until things improved. They lost too much ground and struggled to keep up. The companies that kept going with marketing through the bad times were the ones that survived.

Through monitoring your KPIs, especially your look to book, you can determine how your marketing is working and if you are attracting the right audience. Without question, this is one of the most important KPIs in your business, especially in today’s climate.

With a little creativity and a plan, you can find the path to success and leverage your new travel market. And close monitoring of the essential KPIs will help. Good luck.