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Traveler's Changing Booking Habits

March 03, 2011
Author: Eve-Marie Morgo

A recent survey by PhocusWright, a market research company for the travel industry, revealed some interesting information about the wants and demographics of today’s travelers.

The ‘Consumer technology survey’ looked at how travelers are using and adopting travel during aspects of the total trip. What the study has revealed is ultimately reflective of what many thought leaders within the industry are saying; that new types of travelers are emerging within the 21st century.

One very interesting conclusion within the study is that the emergence of a ‘small but very enthusiastic’ minority. A demographic of 18-25 year olds, ‘early adopters’ who are interested in staying up to date with the latest technology. What is very significant about this group however, is that they are also the most frequent travelers. 18-25 year olds are what business people would essentially call the ‘long tail’ of the market, with their small proportional existence making up a significant slice of the profit. These early adopters are beginning to utilize the range of new technology advances within the travel industry; this travel segment out of all is most likely to use innovative booking services such as mobile and onboard. Companies in the industry can very much capitalize on this opportunity; developing loyalty plans would encourage these frequent travelers to get into the habit of using their travel services.

In the current climate, research indicates that 9% of travelers are now using mobile devices in order to purchase travel or make a reservation.

This figure alone is impressive, but when combined with the conclusion that at the moment, 29% of travelers have expressed they like the idea of using their mobile phone as a ticket, this is quite staggering. It indicates that many passengers would like to utilize technology more in their travel plans; however the products and services offered to them do not currently satisfy their needs.

The advantages of using mobile technology in travel services are vast; in particular the benefits are capitalized on with rail travel. Many passengers, especially for long distance travel, choose rail because its hassle free and convenient. With mobile ticketing, passengers can literally travel directly from one city centre to the next instantly without the need to access a computer or spend extended time at the station buying a ticket. New mobile applications can actually integrate software with the phones GPS in order to deliver location relevant content. In fact, the study indicates that with greater mobile technology use, there is a greater tendency to travel more. Clearly, technology can improve the total trip experience.

In our report, the ‘Amateur expert traveler’, the prediction is that mobile travel is going to take off massively within the next few years to come.

Travelers themselves are changing; the rise of web technology has brought information from a whole new range of sources and has changed how travelers integrate with the industry. 

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