News Column

Smartphone a must for almost half of holiday travellers

August 20, 2014

New research released yesterday by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) reveals that of more than 10,000 travellers across 13 countries worldwide, nearly 40% pack their smartphone in their suitcases and 67% agree that they will use it every single day. As a result, 1 in 10 travellers clock an average of 70 hours online while on holiday - almost 20% of the actual time spent on a two-week holiday.

The survey found that the smartphone is fast replacing the traditional postcard, with 64% of respondents saying they use it to text friends and another 32% to Skype friends and family back home, while on holiday. However, recounting holiday experiences with friends and family still remains one of the most enjoyable ways of sharing a holiday, with 1 in 10 travellers saying this is as enjoyable as the holiday itself.

Planning a holiday is, nearly, half the fun - (45%) of all travellers say it is the best part of a holiday and more than a third (37%) spend over a day researching a holiday.

Susanna Freer-Epstein, senior VP Customer Loyalty Marketing, IHG said, "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 survey also uncovered that 42% of travellers check social media every day while on holiday, with 25% of them even saying they always check Facebook before going to sleep. Taking selfies is 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.

Top 10 uses

- Checking work emails - 68%

- Navigation / Maps - 67%

- Texting - 64%

- Taking holiday photos - 51%

- Making calls - 42%

- Snapping pictures of meals - 35%

- Updating Facebook / Twitter - 32%

- Skyping friends/family - 32%

- Playing games - 27%

- Taking selfies - 25%As part of the global survey, it has launched a digital hub at that highlights the experiences available to over 80 million members worldwide - from a cultural experience at some of the world's most famous museums, to a special family celebration or a once in-a-lifetime relaxing spa experience. It includes reviews from members and global travellers from all around the world.

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Source: Bizcommunity (South Africa)

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