5 Ways That 21st-Century Travelers Are Unlike Any We’ve Seen Before

Dec 05, 2013 9:03 am

Skift Take

Travelers’ unstoppable move towards mobile booking and planning provides companies an enormous opportunity to stay in contact with customers on a real-time basis during every stage of a trip.

— Samantha Shankman

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Mr. T in DC  / Flickr

Someone takes a video of the annual Chinese New Year parade in Washington, D.C. Mr. T in DC / Flickr

The future of travel is mobile, and it’s no secret that travelers are increasingly using their mobile phones to book travel, read peers’ reviews, and find restaurants at a moment’s notice.

Euromonitor International touches on these changing tech habits in just one part of its recent report Understanding the 21st Century Travellerbut it does a good job of outlining exactly how our behaviors are changing with every new app.

We’ve highlighted the five major ways that mobile is changing the way travelers get to and move around a new destination, based on Euromonitor’s research.

  • Travelers of every age are addicted to their mobile devices during downtime and on vacation. Euromonitor coins the term “smoasting” to refer to the travelers that brag about their trips with Facebook and Instagram posts.
  • Consumers have more control in the travel process as they research and book trips on their own. They also have more options than ever before thanks to the rise in flash sales, last-minute mobile bookings, and search aggregation sites.
  • Travelers from emerging economies represent the biggest growth opportunity for the online travel market. These consumers are still transitioning to online booking websites, while the market has started to reach a saturation level in the U.S. and Europe. Global online travel sales amounted to $185 billion and $170 billion in each market in 2012.
  • Travelers are turning to mobile devices for local information at the moment that they need it in the form of apps from geo-social startups, destination marketing organizations, or friends’ suggestions on social media. Destinations can take advantage of the opportunity by feeding visitors constant information before, during, and after their stay.
  • Travelers are also booking online more frequently. Ten percent of online hotel sales for mature markets are expected to take place on mobile in 2013. Companies need a mobile marketing and sales strategy to compete moving forward.

The full report from Euromonitor International can be downloaded here.

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