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Understanding mobile as a growing part of the travel experience
Posted by BuzzCity on 26 Feb 2015
Mobile continues to transform the way that we do anything and everything; socialising, shopping, banking and now increasingly for everyday travel. We begin our daily work and leisure journeys armed with numerous devices including smartphones, tablets and laptops – and often all three - to aid journey planning or to inform us whilst in transit. Long gone are the days of leaving the house with just a bag and a sandwich.
It’s now more essential than ever that brands and operators within the travel industry consider the ways in which they can facilitate access to all the reams of information that today’s connected travellers need, and expect. Adapting to this is an essential step to remaining relevant to the current and next wave of leisure and business travellers.
BuzzCity’s latest report, with a spotlight on mobile in travel, looks at how the role of mobile has changed in the travel patterns and lifestyle of the mobile consumer. Results found that 1 on 4 of us now use our mobiles to book (28%) or pay (24%) for our daily commute - double the figure from 2013. Also on the increase in mobile use across business and leisure travellers; 30% rely purely on mobile to make last minute bookings, making it the most preferred device for ticket or room bookings.
The findings also show that whilst on holiday, 1 in 5 travellers choose to stay ‘connected’ during their holidays. Over a third feel that their phone is the most used device for passing the time, or to stay in touch with friends and family or keeping up with work. Mobile is now also considered a staple tool for research and getting around and find out about local tourist information, restaurants and attractions. With mobile data roaming fees across Europe looking likely to be scrapped, it’s imperative that travellers have the information they want, and more importantly, need, in just a touch or a swipe.
Mobile users travelling for business travel has also grown immensely and tripled within a year; from 9% in 2013 to 24% at the end of 2014, indicating that the role of today’s global workforce often involves frequent domestic and international travel and is no longer the domain of the executive traveller. This has all led to a much higher demand for access for wifi among travellers and meeting this growing demand will be business critical for airports, hotels and public transport services. Free Wifi is no longer considered a perk, and more of an expectation and more hotels and resorts will see this as a game changing move for their businesses. London was found to be the worst city for free wifi access in a recent BuzzCity poll.
Brands, operators and all businesses where travel is part of the customer experience need to reconsider how much they plan to invest in their mobile marketing strategies. As it’s clear that this market will continue to grow.
by KF Lai, BuzzCity CEO