Travelport's latest research into how leisure traveller plan and book their trips shows to what extent consumers now rely on their mobile phones.
The study reveals 60% of those aged 35 and under (Digital Natives) now see the phone as a personal travel assistant and 49% of those aged 36 to 45 (Digital Immigrants).
It's interesting to note that participants were asked to respond to which statement best describes you with the alternative being 'I consider my mobile phone to be something that just gives me the facts'.
Respondents were also asked how likely they would be to share travel plans via social media with 73% aged 35 and under saying very likely dropping to 55% of 36 to 45 year olds.
Meanwhile, only 36% of those aged more than 45 would likely to share plans via social media.
The results are fairly similar in terms of the information they want to access via mobile before they travel with attractions to visit, weather updates, restaurants and entertainments all coming out on top for both the natives and the immigrants age groups.
For the 45 plus age group attractions to visit and weather updates were also important while restaurants and entertainment options were less of a priority.
Both digital natives and immigrants still turn to travel agents - just over half say they use offline agents and two-thirds say they use online agents. Younger travellers also said they were more likely to use an agent for complex trips.
The age group also highlighted how the overload of information on the web can be confusing
The research also shows a gap between what information they receive within an itinerary and what they would like to receive. 68% say they would like discount information, 65% say more restaurant/dining options and 65% more details about cashpoints and foreign exchange in and around airports.
Agents, meanwhile, say they are missing the capability to send alerts, updates and reminders and would also like better reporting tools to help them service customers better.
Findings also show when within the trip cycle travellers manage certain elements such as booking restaurants and tours.
- despite the always on characteristics of the digital natives they are becoming more used to self-service and going to find notifications while the immigrants want notifications sent to them
- the majority of travel agents spend between 15 minutes and an hour on per traveller on answering queries and sending information post booking while 18% spend more than an hour
- a third of travellers find information difficult to read on mobile devices and 36% complain they cannot be accessed offline. Other common complaints are that they're not customisable, 32% and not very interactive, 30%.
The Servicing the Digital Leisure Traveller research was conducted with 2,500 leisure travellers and 1,000 travel agents in eight countries including the UK, US, Australia, France and India.