A pan-European survey has found unpredictable and high mobile phone roaming charges to overseas networks are discouraging travellers from using local services.
A study of 4,000 travellers found that 66% blamed the charges for not using their mobile devices when on holiday.
Furthermore, two out of five of those polled by annual European travel trade show ITB (via IPSOS) voiced concerns of data protection as a reason for not using their devices to access local information and services when travelling.
The survey asked consumers in Germany, France, UK and the Netherlands.
Regional variations did occur: for example, the majority of respondents from Germany (68%) cited roaming charges as the main reason for not using local services abroad, while around 70% of men and 67% of women would rather not use smartphones due to costs.
In second place were data protection concerns, voiced by 50% of both men and women. The high cost of purchasing a smartphone device in the first place was also cited as a reason.
In the Netherlands the high purchase cost was the main reason discouraging smartphone use abroad. Both men and women as well as older respondents gave this as their primary reason.
For younger people aged between16 and 29 who took part in the survey it was high roaming charges that counted most. The second and third-place responses were high roaming charges and data protection concerns.
Respondents in the UK and France claim high roaming charges put them off using smartphones abroad, followed by a lack of a suitable device, due to the purchase cost, and data protection concerns when surfing the web overseas.
The results shine a light once again on one of the most prohibitive aspects of mobile travel reaching a mainstream level of usage amongst travellers, especially in the leisure sector where companies are not picking up mobile expenses on behalf of employees.
The poll also comes hot on the heels of a firm defence of hotels charging for wifi access this week by ex-hotel executive and consultant Daniel Edward Craig.