Some three out of five travellers now use social media such as Facebook as a cheaper tool to contact people when on trips.
A recent TripAdvisor TripBarometer Mobile and Social trends survey of UK travellers picked out a number of interesting datapoints from the 20,000-strong sample.
Social media in travel
The study revealed that social media is used as a research tool before and during a trip:
Mobile usage dips while travelling abroad
- 15% of UK travellers use social media to research and plan trips
- 25% using it to get recommendations while on the go
- 39% UK travellers accessed social media networks while away, compared to around 91% in Indonesia, 87% in Malaysia and 86% in Thailand
- The most popular reason for UK travellers to use social media (in their travel planning) is to access rich media like video and photo of places they plan to visit
UK travellers are the least likely of any major European nation to use their mobile or tablet devices abroad. About 25% of UK travellers did not use mobile devices abroad - more than every other nation polled bar Canada.
The low adoption of mobile and social trends in the UK was largely attributed to high charges associated with texting and calling (reported by 47% of travellers) and data roaming (39%).
When it comes to using tablet device for travel-related activities, only 21% of UK travellers use it while they are away. Daily browsing and playing games are still the most popular reasons for using a tablet while abroad.
Mobile usage scenarios
Below are various ways in which UK travellers use mobile while abroad:
- 29% use their phones to navigate
- 21% use it to find restaurants
- 15% use it to read online reviews while on holiday
Below are the popular mobile travel planning and researching apps among UK travellers:
- 71% use guide apps for travel inspiration tips
- 70% use apps that deliver weather news
- 59% use hotel-specific apps
- 56% use currency converter apps
The study was conducted via online survey in June and July 2013. Survey respondents were 10,469 accommodation business owners and 19,692 adults who have booked travel online and taken at least one trip in the past year. A total of 1,761 travellers and 878 accommodation business owners from the UK participated in the study.
NB:Social media image via Shutterstock.