Mobile devices remain vital while demand for new technologies such as voice search, e-payment and digital room keys grows, according to Travelport’s 2018 Digital Traveler Survey.
The study, which surveyed 16,000 travellers from 25 countries, showed that around the world, mobile devices are seen to be as vital for travel as for other aspects of life.
Almost half of those surveyed have booked and paid for an entire or part of a trip through their smartphone. Nine in 10 respondents have travel-related apps, with maps, airlines, weather and social media ones topping the list of favourites.
While mobile remains crucial, travellers want a consolidated experience. On average, travellers use 10-12 apps throughout the searching, booking and traveling parts of their trip, the study showed.
The top three most important features identified by leisure travellers in their travel apps are the ability to search & book flights (68%), real-time flight alerts throughout their journey (64%) and being able to see an entire trip itinerary in one place (67%).
Only around a fifth of travelers currently use itinerary management tools.
Among the emerging technologies are voice-search. Over half of global travellers use voice to search either during booking or whilst traveling – up 3% from last year.
Over two thirds (68%) of Indonesian travellers use voice search, such as Apple Siri or Amazon Alexa. However, in Japan, Singapore and some parts of Europe, the proportion of travellers using voice search is less than 45%.
Almost half of all respondents rated the ability to pay using Apple/Android pay (Touch ID) is important or very important.
Over half of business travellers surveyed said they wanted to be able to check in to their hotel via an app, rather than at a reception desk. Some 50% also want to use a digital room key to unlock their hotel room door from their phone.
Most respondents said they would use biometric scanning to reduce the need for waiting in security lines. This proportion is particularly high among Asian countries, with 80% in Singapore and 84% in Indonesia indicating that preference. Over two-thirds of travelers think digital boarding passes make travel easier.
India and Indonesia took top spots in a ranking of countries with the most digitally-advanced travellers. India has been top for the second year in a row, and Indonesia was ranked third last year.
The standings are based on a combination of the main indicators of digital usage for travel-related purposes by travelers in each country. For example, India’s top position is maintained due to 69% of the country’s travellers using voice search, over 60% wanting digital room keys and 88% saying they are influenced to travel by friends on social media.