Tablet

Opinions: 

Travel Tech

Using your mobile phone while being on holiday can be an issue, especially as it might result in quite a high bill after the holiday is over. When on holiday, many consumers using their mobile phone to check emails or to navigate around a city might not be aware of the fact that this really does come at a price. Last year, the European Commission did announce to they are looking into roaming costs and were aiming to make sure that consumers could use their mobile phones all around Europe without any further costs. Interestingly, a recent article by eMarketer actually looked at UK travellers’ phone usage on holiday and how roaming charges are impacting on UK travellers’ behaviour when being abroad and their awareness of the roaming costs (eMarketer 2014).

PHONE USAGE WHEN ABROAD

UK consumers are using their mobile phones for a variety of activities and the UK is one of the countries that is fairly similar to the very advanced Scandinavian countries with regards to mobile phone penetration and usage. Interestingly, many UK consumers are actually switching off their mobile phones when being abroad. 37% of UK travellers switch their mobile phones off and don't use it while on holiday. Another 36% of UK travellers disable data roaming capabilities of their Smartphone and another 11% actually connect to the internet using public or private wifi access with their mobile phone when being abroad. Interestingly, only 8% of UK consumers purchase or use a SIM from a specific EU country when travelling there and an even lower 7% activate a special data roaming plan for their holiday, probably also due to the fact that these plans are very often quite pricy and still limit the amount of use allowed on a daily basis.

IMPLICATIONS

This means that many UK travellers, actually the majority of them are relying on free internet connections to stay connected as roaming costs are out of the question for many. This means that for many tourism destinations and businesses, the free provision of wifi is expected to be included for example in accommodation prices and UK travellers will make use of free wifi in hotels, restaurants and coffee shops when being abroad as a way to search and access information as well as communicate and stay in touch with family and friends back home.

For the wider tourism industry, the UK traveller behaviour of not roaming or using the mobile phone when being abroad means that apps being developed are not downloaded and used unless they also enable users to use the content while being offline. Also for restaurants, this has a negative effect, as normally UK consumers use their mobile phone to research good places to eat also based on their current location. Due to them not using their phone on holiday, this also makes it quite difficult to find restaurants and also attractions and places of interest. Consequently, in destination businesses might miss out on potential business and the experience a consumer has in the destination is also different, as decisions are based on information gathered from books or even from hotel staff at reception or tourism information. A connected experience is however, much richer, as relevant information can be obtained there and then and UK travellers can simply research relevant restaurants etc. while being in the destination.

LEADING SMARTPHONE ACTIVITIES

Percentages showing figures for domestic versus abroad

  • Taking photos: 87% vs. 75%
  • Calling or texting home: 84% vs. 66%
  • Using maps to navigate and find the way: 67% vs. 37%
  • Sharing and staying in touch: 61% vs. 37%
  • Finding restaurants: 60% vs. 29%

More from #DTTT

  • In June we present:
    Creating an Inspiring Staycation Campaign with Visit Greenland – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 12
    DTTT · Creating an Inspiring Staycation Campaign with Visit Greenland With the staycation set to become the new travel trend as restrictions ease, how can destinations adapt to attract the domestic market and restart tourism? This is a key question for the industry which sees the staycation as a solution. The staycation is a movement [...]
    #Staycation #recovery #COVID-19 #strategy #tourism #Visit Greenland
  • In May we present:
    What’s the appetite for Travel? with Beautiful Destinations – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 11
    DTTT · What's the appetite for travel? with Beautiful Destinations Recovery is now in sight for many destinations and much is being done to improve destinations to make them safe and ready for travellers when they arrive. Whilst the focus has been on the impact to destinations for much of the pandemic, this has now [...]
    #recovery #COVID-19 #beautiful-destinations #industry #tourism #travel
  • In May we present:
    Sustainability Opportunities for Destination Recovery with Dr Cara Augustenborg – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 10

    Sustainability is a key issue for the industry as it prepares for recovery. The fast-moving pandemic has been severely disrupting tourism and its impact will change the industry, academic engagement, and customer behaviour. The question many destinations are now asking is how can we be sustainable post COVID-19? We dedicate our tenth Tourism Impact call […]

    #ecotourism #recovery #COVID-19 #sustainability #industry #tourism
  • In May we present:
    Digitalisation and Sustainability solutions for recovery – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 9

    As part of our efforts to react and support the industry, the #DTTT began hosting our popular Tourism Impact calls 2 months ago. Now going into the ninth consecutive week, we reflect on what has been an interesting and insightful journey so far. In many lively discussions, we’ve shared perspectives about COVID-19 impact, destination strategy […]

    #recovery #COVID-19 #sustainability #digitalisation #industry #tourism
  • In May we present:
    The Nordics COVID-19 Response

    How have the Nordic countries responded to the crisis? At the #DTTT, we have seen different approaches throughout the Nordic region and wanted to find out more. In a highly insightful interview we brought together the Tourism boards representing the capital cities of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark to discuss their response to the COVID-19 […]

    #The Nordics #Response #COVID-19 #DMOs #marketing #strategy
  • In May we present:
    What travel will look like in the future with Doug Lansky – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 8

    In our highly anticipated eighth Tourism Impact call, we discussed the different approaches of destinations who are at various stages of the recovery process. Recovering destinations are now looking for innovative product solutions as restrictions begin to ease and businesses start to re-open. Whilst for other destinations their recovery plans are still at the research […]

    #Doug Lansky #COVID-19 #DMOs #industry #strategy #tourism
Show more
© 2017 Digital Tourism Think Tank