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Travelers say technology is key to their travel experience

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– Travelport’s 2018 Digital Traveler Survey highlights continuing demand for digital tools

– Mobile devices remain vital whilst new technologies grow in prominence

India retains top position in this year’s global digital traveler country rankings

LANGLEY, United Kingdom, Nov. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The world’s travelers say mobile devices are as vital for travel as for other aspects of their life whilst the desire for new technologies, such as voice search, e-payment and digital room keys, to simplify and enhance their travel experience is increasing.

These are among results from the Travelport 2018 Global Digital Traveler Survey of 16,000 travelers from 25 countries which include:

  • Mobile remains crucial, but travelers want a consolidated experience:
    • Almost half of those surveyed have booked and paid for an entire or part of a trip through their smartphone. China is the global leader, with close to 100% of survey participants booking and paying for travel through their mobile phone
    • 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 favorites
    • On average, travelers 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%)
    • Only around a fifth of travelers are currently using itinerary management tools.
  • New technologies are continuing to grow in prominence:
    • Over half of travelers use voice to search either during booking or whilst traveling – up 3% on last year globally
    • In China and Turkey, over 70% of travelers are already using voice search. However, in Japan and some parts of Europe, the proportion of travelers using voice search is less than 40%
    • Almost half of all respondents, both leisure (47%) and business (55%), think the ability to pay using Apple/Android pay (Touch ID) is important or very important
    • Over half of business travelers asked said they wanted to be able to check in to their hotel via an app, rather than at a reception desk. 50% also wanted to use a digital room key to unlock their hotel room door from their phone.
  • Travelers want technology to continue to simplify and enhance the travel experience:
    • Most travelers asked 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 travelers, 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
    • Over two-thirds of travelers think digital boarding passes make travel so much easier

Gordon Wilson, President and CEO of Travelport, commented, “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 travelers, 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 travelers are already as excited about future technologies as we are about making them.”

The 2018 Global Digital Traveler League Table
The report also includes the 2018 Digital Traveler League Table, with India crowned champions for the second year in a row as the country with the most digitally-advanced travelers.  The standings are based on a combination of the main indicators of using technology to enhance the travel experience. For example, India’s top position is maintained due to 69% of the country’s travelers using voice search, over 60% wanting digital room keys and 88% saying they are influenced to travel by friends on social media.

The countries are ranked as follows (*= new country surveyed in 2018):

Country

2018 Rank

(2017 ranking)

India

1 (1)

Indonesia

2 (3)

Brazil

3 (4)

China

4 (2)

Nigeria*

5

UAE

6 (8)

Turkey*

7

Saudi Arabia

8 (5)

Colombia

9 (9)

Mexico

9 (6)

South Africa

10 (7)

Singapore*

11

Argentina*

12

South Korea*

13

Hong Kong*

14

USA

15 (11)

Russia

16 (14)

Italy

17 (10)

Spain

18 (12)

France

19 (13)

Australia

20 (16)

Canada

21 (15)

UK

22 (17)

Japan

23 (18)

Germany

24 (19)

About the 2018 Global Digital Traveler Survey

Travelport’s Global Digital Traveler Research was developed by the company’s market intelligence team and carried out online through Toluna Research in August 2018. The research covered 25 countries and surveyed people who had taken at least one round trip flight last year. In total, there were over 16,000 respondents. The report is available to download at //www.travelport.com/gdtr.

Alongside the Global Report, Travelport is publishing separate detailed country reports.

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