This is what emerged from the TripAdvisor TripBarometer Mobile and Social survey. The desire to stay connected with family and friends at home and fear of missing out are the principal reasons driving this growing attachment to mobile connection and social media usage while on holiday. However, hospitality businesses globally are not delivering on the needs of today's connected traveller.
9 out of 10 travellers use their mobile devices when on the go.
1 in 10 travellers (8%) admit to using social media while on holiday to make their friends jealous and 11% say it wouldn't be a holiday if all my friends didn't know I was on it.
Indians and Indonesians are the most likely to brag about being on holiday. Italians and Greeks are the least likely.
Women (88%) are slightly more attached to their mobile devices while on holiday than men (85%).
Most travellers (61%) want to stay in touch with what's happening in their circles, even when holidaying.
More than half of Asia's travellers use social media when travelling to communicate with others more efficiently.
Half of Asia's travellers use social media when travelling for recommendations on places to go and where to eat.
24 per cent of global travellers want access to local deals on their devices, but currently only 5% of hotelliers offer this globally.
Only 27 per cent of Asian hotelliers have mobile friendly websites.
Facebook remains the primary social media tool that hotelliers use to communicate with travellers.
Keeping Connected with Mobile
According to the TripBarometer Mobile and Social survey, travellers from Indonesia are the most inclined to use mobile devices when they're on the road (98%), followed by Indian travellers (96%), while Canadians are the least likely (59%), but still a majority. Globally, out of all generations, 18 to 24 year olds are the most avid users of mobile while travelling (94%) and women (88%) are slightly more attached to their mobile devices while on holiday than men (85%).
Mobile is making it possible for travellers to stay connected at all times during their trip, whether it be via smartphone or tablet. While calling (73%) and texting (62%) remain the key reasons for travellers to use their smartphones while travelling, a significant portion of them are using mobile technology to access social media and to look for recommendations on the go. The data also highlights travellers' preference for smartphones over tablets.
See table: Percentage of global travellers who use their mobile devices while travelling
Mind the Gap: The Mobile Opportunity
The study reveals that hospitality businesses globally are not currently meeting travellers' mobile expectations, and Asia is no exception. Despite the appetite that travellers have for their mobile devices on holiday, close to a third of hoteliers globally (31%) and in Asia (32%) don't do anything to reach mobile users.
See table - Mind the Gap: The Mobile Opportunity
While in 2013, only 36% of hoteliers globally prioritised mobile marketing, 53% of them plan on expanding their mobile offerings in 2014. Asian hoteliers are the most likely in the world to increase their mobile offerings in the coming year (66%), including mobile booking functionality (30%), mobile-friendly website (26%), and mobile specific special offers (15%).
Socially planning a trip and being social on the road
A quarter of global travellers relied on social media to plan their last trip, to get recommendations (72%), see pictures and videos of where they're going (67%), find inspiration for what to do and see while they're there (60%) and to look for deals (45%). The data shows that more Asians turned to social media to plan for their last trip than the average global traveller (31%).
According to the study, 61% of travellers globally are also engaging heavily on social media during their holidays. The study reveals that Asian travellers are not only more likely to use social media while on the road (69%), they are also significantly more inclined to use social media to get travel recommendations.
See table - Percentage of travelers who use social media on holiday for the following reasons
The study reveals that 19% of travellers globally admit to using social media to brag about their trip. Looking across the globe, Indians (37%) and Indonesians (30%) are the most likely to brag on social media while on holiday, while travellers from Greece (5%) and Italy (8%) are the least likely to show off.
Turning to Social Media for Engagement
A majority of hoteliers are using social media to engage with current and potential guests (Global 82%; Asia 84%). The most used platforms by owners globally for engaging are Facebook (78%) and Twitter (30%) while in terms of business, 59% believe they are getting value from Facebook and only 2% believe to be getting value from Twitter. Asian hoteliers are the world's most inclined to use blogs to interact with consumers.
See table - Percentage of hoteliers who use the following social networks to interact with current or potential guests
The other 18% of hoteliers globally who don’t use social media to engage with guests cite lack of knowledge (40%) and time (29%) as key reasons. The good news is, 55% of hoteliers globally and 58% in Asia plan to invest more in social media in 2014.
“Travellers’ reliance on mobile devices and social media is consistent with the trends we’re seeing at TripAdvisor,” said Marc Charron, President of TripAdvisor for Business. “TripAdvisor has 79 million average monthly mobile unique visitors, an increase of more than 216% from last year. Over 50 million people have installed our various apps, and we see that travellers are using them not only for planning but during their trips. Additionally, one in three TripAdvisor reviews are submitted by Facebook connected users, demonstrating that travellers are still keen to share their experiences via social media platforms after their trips.”
“TripBarometer findings revealed that there are opportunities for hospitality businesses to provide value at various points throughout a traveller’s journey. Businesses should engage with potential and current guests on mobile and social media to interact with them in real time through special offers and apps that are popular with travellers. Ultimately, mobile is the direct link to travellers’ on the go,” added Julio Bruno, Global Vice President of Sales, TripAdvisor for Business.
- Ends -
 Methodology: The research was commissioned by TripAdvisor and conducted by Edelman Berland, an independent market research firm, conducted via online survey in June and July 2013. Survey respondents were 10,469 accommodation business owners and 19,692 18+ adults who have booked travel online and taken at least one trip in the past year. Respondents were from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Caribbean, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, UK and USA. A total of 3,372 travellers and 1,247 accommodation business owners from Asia participated in the study.