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Traveler Technology Survey 2011
Report | Published: November 2011

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  • Summary
  • Contents
  • Methodology

Publication Summary

Understanding how consumers embrace and interact with emerging technology is important for any business. But as part of an industry that is constantly being transformed by new technology, players and business models, travel companies must be especially vigilant about the impact of innovation. Phocuswright's Traveler Technology Survey 2011 examines the relationship between emerging technologies and the leisure traveler, with a focus on social networks, smartphones and other mobile devices. The research provides information and insight into how consumers' attitudes toward (and usage of) these devices and platforms impact their travel experiences – before, during and after their trips. Based on a consumer survey of more than 1,900 online travelers in the U.S., Phocuswright's Traveler Technology Survey 2011 helps travel companies understand how consumers adopt and use social media and mobile technology, outlining the implications and opportunities for their businesses. Report highlights include:

  • Analysis of online travelers' ownership and adoption of mobile phones, smartphones and Web-enabled devices, including PCs, tablets and more
  • Detailed examination of travelers' mobile Internet usage, highlighting travel-related mobile activities such as pre-trip research, mobile bookings and a range of in-travel mobile activities (navigation/mapping, flight check-in and social network trip updates)
  • Discussion of social network participation among online travelers, analyzed by network (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, etc.), traveler age and frequency of use
  • Overview of general and travel-related social network activities, and the influence of social media channels on travel-purchasing decisions
  • Segmentation of leisure travel expenditure by key characteristics including technology adoption, smartphone ownership and social network activity
Social networks and the mobile Internet have begun to exert a strong influence on how consumers plan, purchase and experience their leisure travel. Purchase Phocuswright's Traveler Technology Survey 2011 to gain the necessary insights to stay on top of these dynamic travel technology trends.

Table of Contents

Section 1: Overview, Methodology and Research Highlights
Research Highlights

Section 2: Mobile
General Technology Adoption
Web-Enabled Devices
Activities Performed via Mobile Phone

Section 3: Online Social Networks
General Participation
Communication Channels

Appendix: Demographics

Technology Adoption, by Travel Behavior and Income

Technology Adoption, by Age and Gender

Ownership of Web-Enabled Devices

Smartphone Ownership, by Age

Ownership of Smartphones, by Manufacturer

Current and Future Tablet Ownership

Frequency of Internet Usage via Mobile Phone, by Technology Adoption

Shopping/Booking-Related Travel Activities Conducted via Mobile Phone

Activities Conducted via Mobile Phone During Travel

Annual Household Travel Spend by Tech Segment

Log-On Frequency for Social Networks

Participation in Popular Online Social Networks

Active Participation in Online Social Networks, by Age

Social Media Activities, General and Travel-Related

Annual Spend, by Frequency of Travel-Related Activities Conducted Through Online
Social Networks

Channels Used for Travel Sharing

Influence of Social Media Channels on Purchasing Decisions

Age and Gender

Household Size and Number of Children in Household

Household Income and Education Level


Phocuswright fielded an online consumer survey August 16-22, 2011 through Global Market Insite, Inc. The survey targeted the general U.S. population that travels for leisure and plans travel online. To qualify for participation in the study, respondents were required to: Have taken at least one leisure trip at least 75 miles from home in the past 12 months that included paid lodging and/or air travel

  • Have used the Internet to select a destination, compare and choose leisure travel products, book travel or share travel experiences online in the past 12 months
  • Have played an active role in planning their leisure trips in the past 12 months
  • Based on the qualified responses received, the weighted response base for the survey was 1,948, which can be projected with confidence onto the U.S. online traveler population. The error interval for analysis is 1/-2.3% at a 95% confidence level. Respondents who qualified for the survey are referred to in this report as "online travelers."