Tui has been rated as the best travel brand for online booking experiences in a poll of 800 consumers.

According to the 2019 Travel Benchmark Report by market research firm Maru/Matchbox, Tui was given an overall digital experience score of 84%.

It was closely followed by Thomas Cook (83%) and Booking.com (82%).

Tui was rated highly for its homepage, thanks to “positive first impressions, clear signposting to offers, clear navigation by holiday type, quick search functionality by destination and easy navigation to themed holidays”.

While being rated as second overall, Thomas Cook had the best performing mobile site.

Consumers gave positive ratings for the “quick and friendly” search feature on the homepage, which suggested airports and destinations based on the first few letters typed. Results returned were highly accurate and displayed in a mobile-friendly format.

The report also found that holidaymakers are more likely to be swayed by customer reviews than ‘pressure messaging’ when booking trips.

More than eight out of 10 (81%) of holiday shoppers recalled experiencing ‘pressure messaging’ while browsing travel websites in the past 12 months.

Such tactics included promoting room availability or the number of users viewing a property at any one time.

However, just 56% of respondents said they actually felt pressured to book travel earlier than planned.

Instead, 68% relied on customer reviews when making purchase decisions.

In February, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) took enforcement action against major online travel agents such as Expedia, Booking.com, Agoda, Hotels.com, ebookers and Trivago and such messages will be banned from September 1.

League table: top travel brands for online holiday shopping:

Tui 84%
Thomas Cook 83%
Booking.com 82%
Expedia 80%
British Airways 80%
Homeaway 77%
Emirates 75%
Accor 75%
LNER 75%
Virgin Atlantic 74%
Airbnb 74%
Hilton 73%
Trainline 73%
Small Luxury Hotels 71%

More: Enforcement action against OTAs ‘does not go far enough’

Competition watchdog outlines changes imposed on online hotel booking sites

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