Hack your way to smoother travels with these nifty tips and tricks. (Photo: iStock)
Travellers are prioritising
value over cost, but often struggle to find it.
This is but one of the
findings of Travelport’s 2019 Global Digital Traveller Research,
which surveyed 23 000 people from 20 countries, including 500 in South Africa.
Locals desire clarity and
flexibility when booking travel, the survey reveals. It gives them more control
and transparency in an apparent quest for personal and authentic travel
experiences, with the research showing 6% of South African travellers rank personalised
travel offers as ‘very important’ for their travel apps.
When attempting to
personalise their experience, more than half of South African travellers are
getting frustrated by not being able to understand what is included as
standard - comparing 55% locals to the 52% global average.
Adding to the frustration for almost 49% of the respondents is "having to book different aspects of the trip like flights,
accommodation and ground transport separately, and not being able to see
the availability and cost of extras - with 43% finding it ‘very
When booking a flight,
value is a top priority for more than 9 out of 10 (92%) South African
travellers, compared to 86% globally. This trend is apparent across all age
groups led by Baby Boomers (96%), who prioritise value marginally more than
So how are locals securing more value for their spend?
- Using a combination of review
According to the data
results South Africans find offers of value by "nearly always" using
a combination of travel review sites - with almost half reporting the use of
TripAdvisor (49%, 42% globally), price comparison sites like Kayak.com (28%,
38% globally), recommendation sites like Kiwi.com (44%, 36% globally), as well
as having conversations with travel consultants (41%, 31% globally).
When researching a trip,
the majority (79% in South Africa, 77% globally) of travellers have reviewed
videos and photos posted by travel brands on social media. Globally, this
number is up 2% on 2018. Facebook is considered the most influential social
media platform by all age groups. Over half of South African travellers (56%)
use social media to research and book travel.
And nearly half of
travellers (48%) use a mobile website to purchase these extras. Making travel
easier to research and manage through digital solutions is also a key focus for
South African travellers - who mostly book their trips online, according to the date. About 80% book on
a computer and 53% book on a mobile device. Of those booking online, 62% use
multiple digital platforms (for example, booking their flights from one website
and hotels from another).
- Finding convenient extras included in the price
When it comes to the impact
of digital technologies on travel, South Africans find that digital boarding
passes and e-tickets make their experience easier (77%), as well as actively
avoid hotels that still charge for Wi-Fi (71%).
They typically want to personalise
their own flight experience (51%, 42% globally) through add-ons like extra
legroom, additional baggage allowance and meal upgrades.
More than three quarters (79%) of travellers in South Africa consider it important whether an airline offers a good digital experience when booking a flight. Almost two thirds (62% in South Africa, globally 58%) also consider this when choosing accommodation.
- Flexibility and clarity in the booking process
The three features
that South Africans would like the most from travel apps are: ability to search
and book flights (82%), being able to collate their entire trip itinerary in
one place (81%) and the ability to change flights in an app (80%). They are
least interested in in-app live chats with travel representatives (54%).
Commenting on the
findings of the research, Travelport’s Claudette Thorne, Country Manager
Southern Africa says, “Travelers in South Africa are very closely aligned with
global trends when it comes to booking preferences. Travelers want an experience
from travel providers and travel agents that is as simple and engaging as the
Travelport’s latest global
research shows that technology is key to this – from serving relevant and
personalised offers to providing attractive propositions from trusted sources.
At Travelport, we will continue to accelerate developments in all these areas,
and more, to help the industry keep pace with the rapidly evolving needs of the
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