There is no denying social media, smartphones and tablets are having a big impact in the travel industry, providing real-time and on-the-move access to travelers who wish to browse their next vacation idea or book a hotel room for the same night. The folks at PC Housing & The Information DJ came up with an insightful infographic that captures well how mobile is becoming a growing ‘dependency’ for business travelers in particular.
An important finding is that these savvy travelers do not only carry their smartphone while on the road (95% of them own one, not surprisingly): they also usually carry their laptop and, a clear growing trend, they carry a tablet such as an iPad with them. In fact, 64% of them own a tablet versus 44% last year and 33% in 2010, marking a challenge for hotels and travel industry marketers in how they intend to communicate with this niche customer segment. A multi-channel approach is usually a challenge in this industry: welcome now to a the multi-device challenge!
Another aspect to note is the wifi requirement, which is expected by 90% as hotel amenity, and by 86% in airports. This tends to confirm a recent survey by TripAdvisor to 1,000 US travelers mixing business & leisure. It was found that the single most important amenity in a hotel was free wi-fi internet – most important to 85% of travelers and 99% of hotel managers. In fact, 88% of respondents thought wi-fi internet access ought to be free in all hotels!
Having said that, it should also be noted that according to a recent USAToday survey, 50% of frequent business travelers and 45% of frequent leisure travelers reading print newspapers more while traveling than at home. So it’s not all digital, all the time. Or almost…
The second half of this infographic is either sad or funny, depending on which side of the fence you’re on. Did you know 75% of business travelers use their mobile phone while at the toilet? The real question I have would be: how does this stat compare with non-business travelers? There is certainly something to be said about staying connected while going to the loo…
As for checking my smartphone 34 times a day… yup! That sounds just about right!
The only figure I personally doubt is the last one: 75% of business travelers claim they get more sleep due to increased productivity stemming from mobile devices helping them getting more done. Indeed, having a tablet, smartphone or laptop while on the road allows for lots of emails, presentations or spreadsheets to be worked on. But do we really gain hours of sleep due to this increased productivity?
By Frederic Gonzalo