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Australian travellers are embracing voice search to book trips

November 22, 2018 Tech No Comments Email Email

Australian travellers are embracing new technology like voice search and biometrics as part of modern travel, according to new research from Travelport.

The Travelport 2018 Global Digital Traveller Survey revealed that 33% of Australian travellers are using voice search – such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant – to research travel and for a new technology it is already increasing its impact on users, with 17% of respondents stating that voice search had the greatest influence when travelling.

“It’s really only in the past year that the Australian market has had consumer voice search products like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant enter our homes and yet we’re already seen Australian traveler embracing this technology,” said Scott Barber, Travelport’s Managing Director Australia and New Zealand.

“What is most interesting from this research is that it points to a shift in travel behavior; the embrace of voice, chat bots and even biometrics shows that travellers are happy to use digital tools alongside human touch points if it improves the overall experience and reduces annoyances like time spent waiting in line, as this technology matures over the next few years we’ll see a much difference travel experience.”

Some of the notable findings include:

  • Mobile habits
    • On average, travellers use 8.3 apps throughout the searching, booking and travelling parts of their trip
    • The most important features identified by leisure travellers in their travel apps are the ability to search & book flights (58%) and real-time flight alerts throughout their journey (57%)
    • 34% of travellers have used a digital wallet or payment app while travelling
    • A third of travellers find it painful and frustrating when they can’t access all of their booking information on their devices
  • Embracing emerging technology
    • 33% of travellers use voice to search either during booking or whilst travelling and for a new technology it is increasing its impact on users, with 17% of respondents stating that voice search had the greatest influence when travelling
    • Over half of travellers would happily use biometric scanning to reduce the need for waiting in security lines
    • In cases of travel disruption, 22% of travellers prefer to be served by a person via chat service and 17% would consider using their mobile to be served by self-service bots
  • The discerning traveller
    • Over two-thirds of travelers think digital boarding passes make travel so much easier
    • Two out of three travellers would avoid hotels that charge for Wi-Fi
    • 30% of travellers said they wanted to be able to check in to their hotel via an app, rather than a reception desk

Despite Australia’s use of smart phones being one of the highest in the world, with smartphone penetration in Australia expected to surpass 90% by the end of 2018, when it comes to booking travel 77% are still using a desktop computer, compared to 16% who are using mobile to book.

“Australia is an interesting market when you look at the global trends around mobile usage – despite such high penetration of smart phones in the market, we’re still seeing the majority of bookings being made on computers which is bucking the global trend in almost every other market we surveyed,” said Barber.

“But then we found that mobile is key for other elements of the journey, in fact 61% of Australian travellers prefer seeing all their trip itinerary in one place on their phone and over half of all travellers said that they would be lost without their smartphone when they travel.”

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