Research Insights Travelers and Technology: A Match Made for Mobile

Travelers and Technology: A Match Made for Mobile

December 2011
David Juman

Travelers and Technology: A Match Made for Mobile

A new report from Phocuswright reveals that U.S. consumers who plan their travel online use more Web-enabled devices than ever, and that a growing share of these tools empower them to connect to the Internet on-the-go... before, during and after their trips. According to Phocuswright's Traveler Technology Survey 2011, online travelers now own an average of 2.7 Web-enabled devices. These include smartphones, tablets, laptops and other portable electronics that offer unprecedented flexibility in when and where consumers connect, and the online activities they can engage in.

Based on a comprehensive survey of online travelers in the U.S., Phocuswright's Traveler Technology Survey 2011 examines the relationship between emerging technologies and the leisure traveler, with a focus on smartphones and other mobile devices, as well as social networks. According to the report, more than half of U.S. online travelers now own a smartphone, which significantly influences how consumers use their phones to facilitate and enhance their travel planning, shopping and sharing.

"The acceleration of smartphone ownership among online travelers is fueling a wide range of travel-related mobile activities that occur before, during and after trips," says Carroll Rheem, director, research at Phocuswright. "For now, activities that hold situational relevance, such as getting directions and researching local activities, dominate online mobile activities. But as travel companies can recognize in the progress of their own apps and mobile sites, planning and booking activities are growing at a fast clip."

Phocuswright's Traveler Technology Survey 2011 includes:
  • Analysis of online travelers' ownership and adoption of smartphones and other 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

Phocuswright's Traveler Technology Survey 2011, an Innovation Edition publication, addresses some of the fundamental ways in which technology is transforming consumer travel, revealing key trends and opportunities for travel businesses.

Introductory pricing expires December 31, 2011.