News Column

Survey: Smartphones are must-have on holiday

August 20, 2014 Staff

A new survey by IHG Rewards Club has revealed that travellers believe their smartphone is the most important item to carry on holiday.

According to the research, almost half the UAE residents surveyed said their smartphone is the most important item on a holiday – making them the most smartphone-reliant demographic - compared to 24% of travellers from the UK and the 38% global average.

79% of UAE travellers who took the survey also said they use their smartphone to check work emails on holiday, surpassed only by Indian travellers, 83% of whom check their work emails on holiday, while the global average was 68%. The survey covered more than 10,000 travellers across 13 countries.

Globally, 67% of respondents said they use their smartphone every day when on holiday, and one in 10 travellers used their smartphone for up to 70 hours on average while on holiday.

42% of travellers use their phone to check social media every day while on holiday, while 24% of respondents admitted they always check Facebook before going to sleep.


The research showed that selfies are also increasingly becoming one of the most popular ways to share holiday experiences, with 25% of travellers surveyed saying they use their smartphones for holiday selfies. The trend is highly prevalent in the UAE, with a third of UAE travellers using their smartphones for holiday selfies and 36% using their phone to share pictures of their meals on holiday.

The survey also revealed that smartphones are replacing traditional postcards, with 64% of global respondents saying they use it to text friends and another 32% to Skype friends and family back home while on holiday.

IHG senior vice president customer loyalty marketing Susanna Freer-Epstein said: "IHG is a brand and consumer driven company. We use insight to anticipate consumer trends and behaviour.

"This research shows how mobile technology is revolutionising the holiday experience – from enabling travellers to dream about and plan their holidays, to helping enjoy the trip itself and share their experiences with their friends and family."

The top ten uses of smartphones by holidaymakers are:

Checking work emails – 68%

Navigation and maps – 67%

Texting – 64%

Taking holiday photos – 51%

Making calls – 42%

Snapping pictures of meals – 35%

Updating Facebook / Twitter – 32%

Skype-ing friends/family – 32%

Playing games – 27%

Taking selfies – 25%

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