Modern travellers increasingly depend on digital tools when planning, booking and taking a journey. This is the conclusion of Travelport’s latest Global Traveller Survey among 11,000 travellers in 19 countries.

The research shows some striking differences in digital travel behaviour between the countries in the study, and reveals the emerging technologies that will play an increasingly important role in future travel, such as voice search.

Based on a sample of 500 people in the UK who took at least one return flight last year, the highlights are:

  • When planning a trip:
    • 85% of UK travellers use peer-to-peer reviews when researching a trip
    • 33% use voice search, using devices such as Siri or Amazon Echo, when researching a trip
    • 50% state the biggest pain point is time spent finding the best price
  • When booking a trip:
    • 40% of traveller’s research and book their trip on a smartphone
    • 46% believe a good digital experience is important when choosing an airline
    • 54% of business travellers add leisure days to a business trip
    • 53% avoid hotels that charge for Wi-Fi
  • When on the trip:
    • 62% of travellers believe that digital boarding passes make traveling so much easier
    • 57% would be lost without their smartphone
  • When at the destination:
    • They use an average of 14 different categories of apps when travelling
    • 47% appreciate time away from family when travelling on business

The Digital Traveller Rankings

The report also includes the world’s first Digital Traveller Rankings, with the UK as one of the countries with the least digitally-advanced travellers.  The table is based on a combination of the main indicators of digital usage for travel-related purposes by travellers in each country. For example, those from the UK typically use smartphones for boarding a plane rather than booking a journey, with 62% saying digital boarding passes makes travelling easier, compared to a global average of 71%.

The league table shows the following rankings:

The Digital Traveller Rankings 2017
Rank Country
1 India
2 China
3 Indonesia
4 Brazil
5 Saudi Arabia
6 Mexico
7 South Africa
8 United Arab Emirates
9 Colombia
10 Italy
11 United States
12 Spain
13 France
14 Russia
15 Canada
16 Australia
17 United Kingdom
18 Japan
19 Germany

Paul Broughton, Country Manager UK & Ireland Travelport, commented: “The Global Traveler Survey clearly shows that the future of travel is digital. Travelers are becoming increasingly digitally dependent when it comes to planning, booking and experiencing travel, and the $7.6 trillion global travel and hospitality industry must adapt to provide responsive, relevant and timely services for customers.

“Whether young or old, and in whichever continent, providing relevant and timely digital tools and content is no longer an accessory but an essential means of reaching and satisfying the modern traveler from the moment they search to the moment they return from their trip.”