How are travellers using technology when travelling? And what more innovations do they want to see in the future?
Travelport - a travel commerce platform - sought to find this out with a new global study, named Global Digital Traveller Research 2018, which asked travellers from 25 countries how they use tech to get from point A to B and in-between. All respondents had taken at least one return flight in the last year.
The study is especially useful as the theme for World Tourism Day in September was 'Tourism and the Digital Transformation', highlighting the role new technologies play in growing the travel industry worldwide.
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Specifically in South Africa, travellers are becoming more dependent on their smartphones than ever to book, plan and navigate their trips. The study revealed that almost half of travellers going through South Africa use voice search to research their next trip, and a quarter now believe that their planning is heavily influenced by available technologies.
It also revealed that 76% of travellers in SA actively review photos and videos shared by travel brands on social media when researching their trips, and 24% believe this carries a significant influence over their choices. In addition, half were revealed to enjoy using the convenience of a digital wallet or payment app while travelling.
Half of these travellers also research and plan their travels entirely through their smartphones, using 11 types of apps while on holiday in SA. The most popular ones include maps, banking and airline apps, as well as weather and social media apps.
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Tech and travel in the future
But what do respondents want for the future? About 87% of respondents would be open to using biometrics tech at airports if it means reducing time spent in queues.
For Claudette Thorne, Travelport's country manager for South Africa, the study proves that travel services and brands need to streamline their digital footprints, continuously adapting to changing trends.
“Our findings demonstrate that providing relevant and timely digital tools has now become an essential means of reaching travellers in South Africa from the minute they search until the moment they return from their trip."
You can read more about the report here.
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