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The behaviour of people in airports is an increasingly important clue to the overall commercial mindset of travellers and tourists. This will become even more true in the near future, as more smart functions and features are rolled out in airports, and wearable devices become more commonly utilised by the general public.

JAPC region report

Analysing airport behaviour is essential for tourism-related companies, so the recent JAPAC Traveller Report, produced by the location intelligence company AdNear, should be considered gold dust. This particular report analyses traveller behaviour across 12 airports in 9 countries in the JAPAC (Japan and Asia-Pacific) region.

The analysis was carried out based on samples taken during the months of April, May and June, at which time airports in several nations were identified and assessed. The airports covered during the analytical process were Melbourne & Sydney in Australia, Hong Kong and Macauin People's Republic of China, Tokyo in Japan, Delhi and Mumbai in India, and Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Bangkok and Manila in South East Asia.

As one can probably imagine, vast numbers of travellers passed through these airports on a daily basis, and this enabled more than one-million travellers to be assessed. The report examines a variety of important categories and facets of traveller behaviour, and then ranks them in terms of demography, smartphone engagement, time spent, time of the day, day of the week and types of app engaged across the dozen airports involved.

Social segregation

From the data collected, it was possible for the report to classify travellers into a variety of different social profiles. These include such social groups as students, homemakers, professionals and the affluent. Each individual demographic group displayed differing behaviour, and analysing and understanding this and the reasons for it can be extremely insightful for tourism-related businesses.

The very first key finding of the report is that the JAPAC region accumulates 5 percent more time spent on mobile devices than the global average. This suggests that this is a region rich for mobile marketing aimed at travellers.

Before looking at digital engagement, the report examines the gender demographic for different regional areas. Male travellers are unquestionably more common than female, but this varies significantly within the areas surveyed. India has four times as many male travellers as female, while this trend falls significantly in Australia, where male travellers are only 150 percent more numerous than the opposite sex.

Younger generation digitally engaged

The report also found that different age groups interact in unique methods. It will come as no surprise that the younger generation is most actively on board with digital engagement, and probably almost equally unsurprising is the fact that Japan has the highest engagement of the 16-24 generation among the regions assessed.

The full report goes into a great deal of detail regarding demographics, establishing various cohorts and then explaining how each is engaging with digital devices. The information contained within the report will be particularly valuable for travel start-ups and app developers who are seeking to entice and actively engage an audience.

In Sydney, the report found that travellers are highly likely to be both affluent and studying. And the trend of affluent users engaging with mobile devices was also quite clear; affluent travellers were over three times more likely to utilise mobile platforms in Sydney, with students approximately equally as likely as any other group. Social applications were particularly popular, but it is interesting to note that the amount of time spent on mobile devices in Australian airports was relatively low compared to other nations.

By contrast, Singapore’s Changi Airport experiences some of the longest airport waiting times - the average traveller is on-site for 97 minutes in Shanghai - and this means that the opportunity for travel-related businesses to socially engage with East Asian travellers is greatly magnified.

However, although Singapore was unique in this regard, the report also generally found that tourists are spending longer in airports that was the case previously. Reflecting this, social apps and entertainment are very popular with travellers, representing the best way to kill time in airports for the majority of those surveyed.

Demographic breakdown

The report also breaks these results down into complex demographics that give travel companies a real insight into the biggest tourism markets in each of the designated territories. For example, Singapore has a huge percentage of repeat travellers, and many of these are drawn from the 37-50 age group.

AdNear has provided many more important insights in the full report, and it is certainly well worth the time of any travel-related business to download the report and fully peruse its evidence, data and conclusions. The development of the airport as a place where commerce can really engage with tourists and travellers for a significant period of time is a development as new as the popularisation of mobile devices, but it is one that all tourist organisations should be well and truly on board with.

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