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‘Plugged in’ travel takes off

October 17, 2014 OTA News No Comments Email Email

Expedia and Egencia today released the collaborative 2014 Global Mobile Index report, a study of mobile-device-related behaviours and preferences among leisure and business travellers. The study reveals the deep dependence on mobile devices, defined as a smartphone, tablet, e-reader, laptop or smartwatch.


The global survey, which polled 8,856 employed adults across 25 countries, revealed almost all travellers (94%) bring at least one mobile device with them when they take a personal holiday while 97% bring at least one device on business trips.


“We are entering a new era where people are moving fluidly across desktop, phone and tablet as they dream, plan, book and then ultimately take their trip,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, President and Chief Executive Officer, Expedia Inc. and President, Expedia Worldwide.


“Travellers are not only researching and booking trips on mobile, but they’re also complimenting their meals, complaining to providers and capturing every trip detail. This is the new normal when it comes to travel.”


“For business trips, mobile devices are already a requirement for most travellers, and mobile usage trends are still increasing as these devices and enabling-apps make corporate travel smoother and more productive,” said Rob Greyber, president of Egencia.


Smartphone reliance

Seven in ten Australian travellers say their smartphones are very important / critical to their daily lives, with more than a quarter of Australian travellers (28%) claiming to use their smartphone more when they travel than they do when at home, sitting below the global average of 35%. Additionally, 73% admit to taking their work paid device with them on holiday. 

Mobile manners

The index reveals travellers are well attuned to mobile device etiquette, placing importance on politeness and noise consciousness, as well as privacy. Over half of Australians (58%) find making calls on speakerphone in a public area an offensive behaviour, followed by playing music, games or videos without headphones (49%) and making calls when at a restaurant/café (45%). Taking photos / videos of people they don’t know is also considered inappropriate behaviour for 38% of Australians – on par with the top four most offensive uses of mobile technology globally.  

Wi-Fi prioritisation

Given the ubiquity of mobile devices in travel, consumers are increasingly prioritising Wi-Fi accessibility. Worldwide, 56% of travellers report that Wi-Fi availability and pricing impact their purchasing decision when selecting a flight and hotel – a finding that is shared among nearly half of Australians (44%). When looking generally at mobile-related hotel amenities, complimentary Wi-Fi is ranked most important, followed by high-speed internet access, wired in-room connectivity and a business centre with computers and printers.


Device feasibility

Laptops and desktop computers remain the most common ways to book travel, with 59% of Australians using a laptop to book travel, and 39% using a desktop computer. However, travellers are increasingly relying on other mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to help through all stages of their business and travel experience.


Globally, 76% of leisure travelers have used their smartphone in a travel planning capacity and over 70% of both business and leisure travellers engage a tablet device during the travel planning stage. Locally, Australians are leading the pack when it comes to tablet usage for leisure travel, with the most common uses being:

·         Shopping for flights and hotels 36% and 39% (vs. 29% and 32% globally)

·         Researching travel destinations 42% (vs. 41% globally)

·         Booking hotels 32% (vs. 26% globally)

·         Booking flights 26% (vs. 25% globally)

·         Shopping for ground transport 25% (vs. 20% globally)

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