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TripAdvisor “TripBarometer Connected Traveller” report reveals, connected travellers twice as likely to make travel bookings via smartphones

July 1, 2015 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

Mobile usage is on the rise and experienced throughout the entire traveller journey, according to the TripBarometer¹ Connected Traveller report released today by TripAdvisor. The report defines Connected Travellers as those who have used a smartphone to plan or book a trip and provides in-depth insight into their habits and behaviors.

Key amongst the findings: forty five percent of Connected Travellers usually use their smartphones to book activities for a trip, almost three quarters of Connected Travellers (72%) use their smartphones to look for restaurants on vacation and a third of Connected Travelers (34%) want their accommodation to offer mobile check-in. A key report finding sees Australia positioned ahead of the crowd, with 81% of hoteliers accepting bookings online, and 61% of hoteliers offering mobile friendly websites, in comparison to the US, UK and China.

The report is part of the larger TripBarometer study, conducted on behalf of TripAdvisor by independent research firm Ipsos and reporting on more than 44,000 global responses from travellers and the hotel sector.

Mobile bookings on the rise:

Mobile apps are becoming more popular as a booking channel – according to the report, the amount of people using mobile apps to book their accommodation has doubled year over year. In 2014, four percent of TripBarometer respondents booked their accommodation using a mobile app channel –a proportion that has risen to eight percent this year. This increases to 11 percent for the Connected Traveller segment. Those who book via mobile app channels are habitual users, with one in four (24%) saying they usually book this way. One in five Connected Travellers say they booked via a mobile app because it was easier or faster to access and 29 percent felt they got a better price.

Looking strictly at the device used to make a booking, Connected Travellers are twice as likely as Global Travellers to make travel related bookings via a mobile device. Laptops and PCs are still the most commonly used devices for hotel bookings, with 50 percent of Connected Travellers using a laptop and 32 percent using a PC to book the accommodation for their most recent trip. But what’s interesting is that 12 percent of Connected Travellers booked their accommodation via a smartphone, compared to 6 percent of global travellers.

The trend toward mobile platforms for bookings is even more apparent when it comes to travel activities, where the smartphone becomes the second most popular booking device after laptops – 45 percent of Connected Travellers say they use their smartphone to book activities for their trip, while 55 percent say they use a laptop. This is where Connected Travellers really start to differentiate themselves, as only 28 percent of global travellers use their smartphone to book things to do before a trip.

Smartphones have become the essential trip companion

Connected Travellers are more likely to want their smartphones with them on vacation to organise their trip more efficiently (44%) and book accommodation on the go (37%). They are also more likely than the average traveller to use their smartphone for travel research while in their destination: 72 percent of Connected Travellers use their mobile to look for restaurants, 67 percent use it to find things to do and 64 percent use it to read reviews.

How mobile is used on holiday Connected Travellers Global Travellers
Finding my way around/maps 81% 67%
Looking for restaurants 72% 56%
Looking for things to do 67% 51%
Reading reviews 64% 47%
Looking for hotels 50% 36%
Making restaurant reservations 46% 36%

Connected Travellers: where they’re based and where they’re going

South America has the highest proportion of Connected Travellers with 57 percent of TripBarometer respondents from the region falling into the Connected Traveller segment. The Middle East (55%) and Asia (49%) follow close behind. However, looking at individual countries, Thailand and China lead the trend, with 65 percent of respondents identified as Connected Travellers. Australia is also included in the fold with 47 percent of respondents identified as Connected Travellers.   

How to please the Connected Traveller?

All travellers say they find it useful for their hotel to offer adaptors, converters and a variety of chargers to save them from having to bring their own. However, the gap starts to widen between the requirements of Connected Travellers and the average traveller when it comes to services more closely related to smartphone connectivity. Nearly half (45%) of all Connected Travellers would enjoy an app to book things through while on their trip (compared to 38% of global travellers) and a third (34%) would find mobile check-in useful (compared to 28% of global travellers).

Where are hoteliers missing an opportunity?

According to the TripBarometer results, 45 percent of Connected Travellers would welcome an app to book things through while on their trip, yet so far just 16 percent of hoteliers globally offer an app. Over a third of Connected Travellers say they would like for a hotel to make SIM cards or temporary mobile phones available for its guests, but only 7 percent of hotels currently offer this service. This would be an easy win for smaller properties, not only catering to the needs of Connected Travellers but also giving more of their guests the opportunity to use a mobile device as an in-destination travel companion.

Is Australia ready to welcome Connected Travellers?

Globally, hoteliers have become far more accessible via a number of different platforms with 73 percent of hotels worldwide taking online bookings and 55 percent accepting bookings via a mobile device. So far, 16 percent of hotels around the world currently offer an app for guests to book things through while they are in the destination and just 11 percent offer mobile check-in. Hoteliers in Australia are ahead of the game when it comes to making themselves accessible to Connected Travellers, with 61 percent offering a mobile-friendly website and 81 percent accepting online bookings via a connected device.

“While the majority of global travellers now use mobile devices, the tendency to see a smartphone as a booking platform is what sets Connected Travellers apart,” said Marc Charron, president, TripAdvisor for Business. “Hotels should identify the best ways to make themselves as visible and accessible as possible on mobile platforms in order to appeal to this highly engaged segment of travellers. For independent or smaller properties, leveraging a service like TripConnect instant booking is a great way to make themselves instantly bookable on TripAdvisor without needing to develop their own mobile booking solution.”

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