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Forget the thousands of niche travel apps out there. Travelers today are using their smartphones to find out where to go and how to get there.
Finding directions is – unsurprisingly – the number one reason travelers reach for their smartphone in a new destination.
More than half of U.S. adults report using their phones to navigate a new destination via GPS — an activity more common than searching for restaurants (44 percent), looking up reviews (31 percent), and tracking flight changes (29 percent) — according to interviews with 2,550 U.S. travelers.
The study, which highlights the top ten most common travel activities done with a smartphone, was conducted as part of MMGY Global’s comprehensive 2014 Portrait of American Travelers.
|Travel Activities Done with Smartphone||Respondents|
|Navigate with GPS||54%|
|Look Up Ratings/Reviews||31%|
|Monitor Flight Schedules/Delays||29%|
|Share Experience via Social Media||28%|
|Share Experience via Email||25%|
|Check-in via Location App||20%|
|Compare Airfare/Hotel Rates||20%|
|Scan QR Codes||12%|
|Use Mobile Boarding Pass||20%|
Although smartphone apps today are able add context to historic sites via augmented reality and keep track of real-time flight changes, it is this most practical application that most travelers desire.
This trend is mirrored in respondents’ feedback on the most commonly downloaded apps. Of the 32 percent of travelers that download travel apps, almost half are using a map or GPS service.
The next most commonly downloaded apps are those used for flights (42%), hotels (39%) and flight schedules (38%).
|Type of App Download||Respondents|
|Rental Car Companies||18%|