Forget the sun screen, magazines and guide books – new research released by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) shows that the “must-have” item for holiday travel is a smartphone, at least according to the majority of 10,000 travellers polled from across 13 countries worldwide.
According to the research by IHG Rewards Club, nearly 40% of travellers agree that their smartphone is the most important item to take on holiday – and 67% agree that they will use it every single day. As a result, one in 10 travellers clock an impressive average of 70 hours online while on holiday – almost 20% of the actual time spent on a two-week holiday.
The survey found that the smartphone is fast replacing the traditional postcard with 64% of respondents saying they use it to text friends and another 32% to Skype friends and family back home, while on holiday. However, recounting holiday experiences with friends and family still remains one of the most enjoyable ways of sharing a holiday, with one in 10 travellers saying this is as enjoyable as the holiday itself.
Planning a holiday is, nearly, half the fun – 45% say it is the best part of a holiday and more than a third (37%) spend over a day researching a holiday.
Susanna Freer Epstein, senior vice-president Customer Loyalty Marketing, IHG, commented, “This research shows how mobile technology is revolutionizing the holiday experience – from enabling travellers to dream about and plan their holidays, to helping enjoy the trip itself and share their experiences with their friends and family.”
The survey also uncovered that 42% of travellers check social media every day while on holiday, with 25% of them even saying they always check Facebook before going to sleep. Taking selfies is also increasingly becoming one of the most popular ways to share holiday experiences, with 25% of travellers surveyed saying they use their smartphones for holiday selfies.
According to the research, the top 10 uses of smartphones by vacationers are: checking work e-mails – 68%; navigation/maps – 67%; texting – 64%; taking holiday photos – 51%; making calls – 42%; snapping pictures of meals – 35%; updating Facebook/Twitter – 32%; Skype-ing friends/family – 32%; playing games – 27%; taking selfies – 25%.