Monday, 30 April 2012

‘Smart’ Mobile, ‘Smarter’ Travel’

-          Mobile devices become new travel essentials, reveals TripAdvisor

·    65% respondents own a Smartphone; 22% possess a tablet
·    53% respondents use at least 1 travel application on their handheld
·    37% have used a mobile device to book a flight or accommodation

If you thought mobile devices were only to talk, think again! According to the ‘Mobile Device Travel Survey’ by TripAdvisor® – world’s largest travel planning site, smart phones and tablets are becoming essential travel accessories as more and more Indians jettison their plain-vanilla mobile phones for smarter devices. The trend is clearly reflected in the survey of over 1000 respondents. While 65% people said they possess a smart phone, 22% confess to being proud owners of a tablet.

Fitted with snappy travel applications, these smart devices are helping travellers go further and do more on-the-go than ever before. The survey found that taking/sharing photos, navigation and games were the top three things travellers use their mobile for while travelling (other than calls & texting).

According to Nikhil Ganju, Country Manager, TripAdvisor India, “For tech savvy Indians, mobile devices are becoming an integral part of their holidays. Starting from pre –trip research on destinations, attractions, hotels to actual booking accommodation or flights for the trip, to location based services at the holiday destination; the mobile fits all in the palm of your hand.” He further adds, “The versatile mobile today serves as a navigation tool, camera, gaming device, local directory… the list is exhaustive.”

Top 3 uses of mobiles for travel planning tasks

Pre-trip planning

·    Book/research accommodation
·    Book/research flights
·    Book/researched restaurants

While travelling

·    Read about destinations, city guides or walking tours
·    Read about destinations, city guides or walking tour
·    Read traveller reviews

App-y Holidays

·    53 % survey respondents said that they have at least 1 travel application with 26% having between 1-2 travel apps installed on their mobile device.

·    The 6 most downloaded Travel Apps are:

                1. TripAdvisor
                2. Google Maps
                3. Make My Trip
                4. Blackberry travel
                5. IRCTC
                6. Cleartrip

Tech Savvy Young-istan

·    Highest smart phone owners in the age group 25-35 (77%)

·    Highest tablet owners in the age group 18-24 (28%)

·    61% respondents in the age group of 18-24 claimed to have used a mobile device to plan their trip.

The Hooked Mobile Social-ite

·    55% respondents said they could not live without their mobile on a holiday with 16% unsure if they could or not survive without their phone on a holiday.

·    58% respondents said they “often” use their mobile device for tasks other than calls when travelling.

·    61% respondents said they connect either often or sometimes to Facebook on mobile while travelling.

·    Check- in seem to be fast becoming the new social fad with 31% respondents claiming to regularly ‘check-in’ to places they are travelling to. This number swells to 52% in the age group 18-24.

·    The gender divide is roughly even, with men and women turning out ‘equally social’ on trips.

Woes of a Mobile Traveller: The mobile travel revolution is not without its moments of frustration.

·    For more than 60% travellers, poor connectivity and roaming charges remain the major pain points while travelling, followed by the annoyance of having a small screen size to navigate on.

·    42% claimed that they have been hit with an unexpectedly large bill after using their mobile device while on international travel. This is probably why 44% said they have switched to using country specific SIM cards either always or most of the time while travelling abroad.

·    29.03% respondents in the age group of 18-24 confessed that poor app functionality compared to a website was their biggest frustration.

The Metro Mobile Mania Meter

·    Bangalore leads among metros with highest number of smart phone users (74%) followed by Delhi (72%) and Mumbai (70%). Despite being IT haven, Hyderabad finished last with 57% respondents claiming to own a smart mobile device.

·    With 34% respondents claiming to own a tablet, Chennai is far ahead of other metros followed by Delhi (27%) and Bangalore (21%). Kolkata lags behind with lowest percentage of tablet users (18%).

·    Chennai & Bangalore seem to be home to tech friendly travel enthusiasts with 59% respondents in both these cities claiming to have at least one travel app downloaded on their mobile device, the highest among all metros followed closely by Mumbai (58%), Hyderabad (57%), Delhi (56%) and Kolkata at a distant 40%.

·    61% Chennaites also claimed to have used a mobile device to plan a trip followed by Delhi (52%), Bangalore (50%), Mumbai (49%), Hyderabad (46%) and Kolkata (39%).

·    Travellers from Chennai seem to be most handy with their mobile devices with largest respondents from their city claiming they have used a mobile device to book accommodations, flights or restaurants online. Delhi finishes second, followed by Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Hyderabad. Delhiites emerge as the biggest Facebook addicts among respondents from all the metros with 37% saying they connect often to Facebook on mobile while travelling. Bangalore comes a close second followed by Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad.

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