Mobile has lead to always connected travellers worldwide that can take advantage of instantaneous information when accessing these through mobile devices. For the tourism industry, mobile is a game changer making mobile travel data an important source of information for tourism businesses to look at. Although travel companies know that travellers are using their mobile devices when on the go, it is still a mystery with regard sot how exactly travellers are using mobile phones and tablets on the road. Increasingly, consumers are using mobile data as more and more data is consumed through mobile devices by watching videos, browsing or the use of apps. Besides differences with regards to mobile and desktop data being used by travellers, the usage and behaviour with regards to mobile data also differs between business and leisure travellers (Tnooz 2014).
MOBILE DATA GROWTH
Mobile data is growing at a significant rate and is about 12 times the size of global internet traffic in 2000. This is actually quite interesting and shows the sheer importance of mobile data traffic. Smartphones are an essential driver of mobile data and consumers worldwide are considering smartphone usage as a necessity rather than an add on when travelling and during every day life. This is certainly a change from a couple of years ago but show that Smartphones are considered accessories and essentials when travelling. 88% of travellers see Smartphones as must-have devices when travelling and for 75% of business travellers Smartphones is actually increasing productivity and is enabling them to more than 6 hours of sleep each night. This is very interesting and when reflecting on daily Smartphones activities, 23 minutes each day are spend on talking followed by 20 minutes for texting and 18 minutes each day for reading emails.
Consumers worldwide are multitasking which is not a surprise to anybody in the tourism industry. However, with regards to the consumption of mobile data, it is necessary for tourism businesses and destinations to fully understand how mobile data is used. As with other data, mobile data is mainly used in order to stay connected via personal email with 75% of mobile data being consumed through that. Another 72% of mobile data consumption is spend on checking the weather which is mainly done through Smartphones or tablet devices. Consumers are also in need to access maps and directions and try to keep up with news.
When travellers are abroad it is also not a surprise that more mobile data is used up and usage is actually skyrocketing. When being abroad or in a specific destination, travellers are spending most of their mobile data on checking and sending emails, checking local information and searching for places to go, eat, look at and stay. Due to travellers dependence on mobile usage when abroad, mobile data consumption is increasing.
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