Two-fifths of business travelers and a fourth of leisure travelers from Asia-Pacific used smartphones to book a trip
As individuals in Asia-Pacific countries—established and emerging economies alike—begin to travel significantly more often, many of these consumers are turning to mobile devices for digital information, and this behavior seamlessly translates to their engagement with travel products and services.
In a survey from travel technology provider Amadeus and research firm Frost & Sullivan, 40% of business travelers and 25% of leisure travelers from select Asia-Pacific countries used smartphones to book and make travel-related arrangements in August 2012. Business travelers were far more likely to turn to the devices for booking, except in South Korea, where 51% of leisure travelers said they uses smartphones to make travel purchases.
The study also found that younger leisure travelers were considerably more likely to book via mobile vs. consumers in other age groups. In South Korea, 75% of leisure travelers ages 18 to 30 said they made trip arrangements via their smartphones, as well as 30% of respondents in that age group in Singapore, 22% in Japan and 15% in Australia.
From a marketing standpoint, there is room for growth via mobile while travelers are on the move—whether or not these travelers are actually completing booking transactions on their devices. “[Asia-Pacific consumers] are much more mobile-centric than the rest of the world; meaning they start their discovery and research via mobile first, but they don’t actually complete the transaction,” said Bill Keen, director of mobile solutions at InterContinental Hotels Group. “In China, they actually want to talk to someone at the very end of the transaction, so ‘click to call’ becomes very important there.”
In an October 2012 survey from Text100, nearly 90% of leisure travelers from select Asia-Pacific countries used mobile apps during their vacation. Conversely, only 71% of travelers from the EMEA region and 62% of travelers from the US used similar apps. Maps and location-centric tools were by far the most common among Asia-Pacific travelers. Nearly half of respondents said they used location-based apps while on vacation, 29% used airline apps and searched for restaurants, and 22% used travel search apps.
Overall, the Asia-Pacific region is not uniform, nor is its consumer groups within individual countries. But mobile’s popularity among consumers in Asia Pacific is growing rapidly, and that translates directly to the way consumers experience travel.
The full report, “Traveler Trends in Asia-Pacific: Mobile Takes Center Stage,” also answers these key questions:
- What are the growth rates for digital travel sales across Asia-Pacific?
- How does mobile commerce in Asia-Pacific compare to other global markets?
- In what ways are travelers from Asia-Pacific using mobile devices to research and book trips?
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