LONDON, England — According to recent findings from Mobile Travel Tracker, a global research study on consumers’ mobile booking behaviours conducted by Hotels.com, consumers prefer to be on their smartphones more than any other activity while on vacation. An astonishing 81 per cent of travellers claim their smartphones are their most important accessory while on vacation.
“For travellers, the mobile effect begins with booking, as 43 per cent of people in our study have booked a hotel on mobile,” says Dan Craig, senior director of Mobile for the Hotels.com brand. “It’s therefore no surprise that today’s modern tourist is so reliant on their smartphone, and as technology is advancing it’s becoming a more indispensable travel companion.”
According to the study, the average consumer spends approximately three hours on a smartphone while on vacation — just over six per cent spend more than seven hours per day. Half of travellers said they use their smartphones to upload photos from their vacation to social-media websites in order to show off and 28 per cent use their phones to check into places they hope will make their friends jealous. Ten per cent of travellers are guilty of something dubbed in social-media lingo as “Facebook face-offs,” which is a reference to travel companions’ habit of constantly checking one another’s social-media pages in an effort to be the one with the better content. Consequently, 20 per cent of travellers spend their vacation time checking to see how many likes and comments their posts have garnered.
In its research study, Hotels.com also observed the most-used social media outlets, ranking the top five in order:
- Facebook (77 per cent)
- Instagram (32 per cent)
- YouTube (25 per cent)
- Twitter (24 per cent)
- Pinterest (14 per cent)
The topic most-searched by travellers on their smartphones is food — 71 per cent of consumers’ mobile searches were for information on restaurants and similar food attractions. After food, Hotels.com listed tourist attractions (59 per cent); maps and directions (56 per cent); discounts and deals (38 per cent); and local beaches (33 per cent) as the top five searches.
Given this data, Wi-Fi availability plays a critical role in travellers’ hotel booking choices; 31 per cent only select hotels that offer free Wi-Fi; 17 per cent of men and 12 per cent of women are willing to pay for Wi-Fi access at a hotel.
The Hotels.com mobile apple is available for iOS, Android and Amazon devices.