India, Indonesia, Brazil, China and Nigeria make up top five
UK slips in Travelport league table of the world’s most digitally savvy travellers
The UK has slipped from seventeenth to twenty second in the Travelport Global Digital Traveller league table.
The assessment of how digitally savvy travellers are from around the planet is based on a survey of 16,000 people from 24 countries.
The UK’s placing in twenty second places it among Canada, Japan, Australia and Germany towards the bottom end of the table.
At the top India retained its first place with Indonesia, Brazil, China and Nigeria making up the top five.
The index was based on a combination of the main indicators of using technology to enhance the travel experience.
India’s top position was attributed to the 69% of the country’s travellers using voice search, over 60% wanting digital room keys and 88% saying they are influenced to travel by friends on social media.
The Travelport survey also found respondents said mobile devices are as vital for travel as for other aspects of their lives.
It also found a desire for new technologies, such as voice search, e-payment and digital room keys, to simplify and enhance the travel experience is increasing.
Mobile remains crucial, but travellers want a consolidated experience, said Travelport.
Almost half of those surveyed have booked and paid for an entire or part of a trip through their smartphone.
Nine out of ten now have apps to make their life easier when at their destination with maps, airlines, weather and social media topping the list of favourites.
On average, travellers use 10-12 apps throughout the searching, booking and traveling parts of their trip.
The top three most important features identified by leisure travelers in their travel apps are the ability to search & book flights (68%), real-time flight alerts throughout their journey (64%) and being able to see an entire trip itinerary in one place (67%)
And only around a fifth of travellers are currently using itinerary management tools.
Travelport said new technologies are also continuing to grow in prominence with over half of respondents saying they use voice to search either during booking or whilst traveling.
In China and Turkey, over 70% of travellers are already using voice search. However, in Japan and some parts of Europe, the proportion of travellers using voice search is less than 40%
Almost half of all respondents, both leisure (47%) and business (55%), said they think the ability to pay using Apple/Android pay (Touch ID) is important or very important
Over half of business travellers asked said they wanted to be able to check in to their hotel via an app, rather than at a reception desk.
And 50% also wanted to use a digital room key to unlock their hotel room door from their phone.
Survey respondents also said they want technology to continue to simplify and enhance the travel experience:
Most would happily use biometric scanning to reduce the need for waiting in security lines, with little difference between those traveling for business (81%) and those traveling for leisure (75%).
For Nigerian travellers, with one of the youngest populations in this year’s survey, 90% said they were happy to share personal data to speed through customs and immigration
Gordon Wilson, president and chief executive of Travelport, said, “We can all see the way technology is changing almost every aspect of our lives.
“The travel industry has always been about new experiences and adopted new technologies early.
“This is as true today, with such high demand for voice search and biometric screening, as it was when I joined this industry almost thirty years ago.
“At Travelport, we’ll always provide choice for customers and travellers, drive performance and use the intelligence in our platform to personalize and tailor your travel experience.
“But we’re also busy innovating, inspiring and experimenting with ways to use new technologies to make buying and managing travel continually better.
“It’s great to see confirmation that today’s travellers are already as excited about future technologies as we are about making them.”