Travellers both young and old are increasingly
using mobile devices for flight notification, check in, and seat
selection, and are also willing to accept advertising with free
travel applications. These findings and more, were revealed in a
global mobile survey of travelers, conducted by Sabre Travel
Network, one of the world’s leading providers of high-performance
solutions for the travel industry.
The survey of 800 corporate and leisure
travellers from Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North
America covered topics ranging from preferred features to fees
travellers might pay for travel applications.
The majority of travellers surveyed had a smart
phone (69%), with North American travelers most likely to own one
(78%) and APAC travellers least likely (46%). Daily usage is
highest for email at 63% with the internet not far behind at 49%.
The study also found that nearly half of all travellers (47%) are
40 years old or older, demonstrating that the exploding use of
mobile services is not strictly the domain of younger travellers.
While APAC travellers are currently the least likely
to own smart phones, this number is increasing rapidly, signaling
to the industry the importance of having a mobile strategy
alongside an internet strategy.
“Travel suppliers and
agencies can no longer ignore the mobile platform as the numbers
are showing a definite uptrend towards mobile adoption for travel
services. This is especially evident in the post-booking phase of
the travel buying process,” said Hans Belle, vice president Asia
Pacific, Sabre Travel Network.
“Smart phones are becoming
a traveller’s preferred tool for managing post-booking activities
and getting relevant information,” added Belle. “This represents a
tremendous opportunity for the travel industry to leverage mobile
solutions to demonstrate value to their customers and creatively
reach target audiences.”
Corporate and leisure travellers both showed strong
adoption for using their mobile phone to gain timely and relevant
information in particular:
• Flight notification (72%)
• Weather forecasts (68%)
• Viewing of hotel locations via map
• Flight performance (65%)
information/city guides (64%)
Flight services on mobile
most attractive to APAC travellers APAC travellers registered
highest interest in having flight services on their mobile
• 51% of APAC travellers are interested in using
their mobile device to check in for flights, compared to 27% for
destination specific offers from local businesses.
• 46% of
APAC travellers would like to select/change seats via their smart
• 40% of them would use their mobile device to automate
reaccommodation services in the case of a cancelled flight.
38% of APAC travellers would like to use their smart phones to
book flight upgrades.
Travelocity, a Sabre Holdings
company, has noted a measurable increase in bookings originating
from mobile devices in recent months.
surveyed are willing to accept advertising with free use of travel
applications. For example, 28% of responding road warriors (very
frequent travellers) said they preferred free applications with
advertising, versus eight% who preferred to pay for the
application. Leisure travelers had a similar spread, with 22%
preferring free with advertising versus 5% preferring to pay.
“There’s been a lot of experimentation with
pay-for-services in the past but with advertising emerging as a
more palatable choice for travellers, application providers and
retailers now have a way of monetising their offering and driving
more value out of a potentially lucrative marketing
channel,” said Belle. “For our own part, Sabre remains
committed to helping the travel industry advance their
mobile strategies, and next year we will increase our
mobile investments to continue growing our award-winning
portfolio of mobile solutions for both agency and
Sabre’s 2009 launch of TripCase, a
mobile application available today for both iPhone and Blackberry
users, continues to gain momentum with tens of thousands of
individual downloads. Sabre’s Virtually There itinerary service is
already used by more than
30,000 travel agencies around the world and their clients.
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