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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : October 16, 2014

94% of leisure travelers now pack at least one mobile device

Tickets? Check. Passport? Check. Currency? Check. Travelers preparing for a vacation ensure they have everything they need before they leave the house. Today, another item is on the list of must-haves - a mobile device - which acts as a concierge, guide and companion.

by Helen Leggatt

According to new research carried out by Expedia and its business division, Egencia, a whopping 94% of travelers now take at least one mobile device with them when they go on a trip.

In addition to email and messaging, mobile often takes the place of a dedicated camera. Leisure travelers also use their mobile device to find directions and use maps, check the weather and use them to keep in touch with others via social media.

Overall, more than three-quarters of travelers said their smartphone was "very important/critical" to their daily lives. The most dependent on smartphones were Indians with 95% categorizing the device as "very important/critical" compared with just 57% in the least dependent country, Norway.

"We are entering a new era where people are moving fluidly across desktop, phone, tablet, even wearables as they dream, plan, book and then ultimately take their trip," said Dara Khosrowshahi, President and Chief Executive Officer, Expedia, Inc. and President, Expedia Worldwide.

"Travelers are not only researching and booking trips on mobile, but they're also complimenting their meals, complaining to providers and capturing every trip detail. This is the new normal when it comes to travel."

Research released earlier this month by airline technology firm SITA found that 97% of the 6,000 air passengers they surveyed carried at least one mobile device be it a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Twenty percent carried all three.

And, those passengers want to be able to use their devices both in the airport and in the air. More than half (57%) of travelers said they want mobile applications to help them find their way around airports, and half said they wanted to use their device for such activities as entering a business lounge or boarding a flight.

While in the air, 54% want to be able to send emails, texts and make and receive calls while 45% said they would like to use their device to make mobile payments for items such as food, drinks and duty free purchases.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: leisure travel, mobile, smartphone, travel research

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