Oct 24, 2013 (Thu): Despite the popular belief that holidays are supposed to be a time to unplug, 9 out of 10 Malaysian travellers (95%) admit to being attached to mobile technology while they are away, ranking above the global average (87%). 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.
Keeping Connected with Mobile
According to the TripBarometer Mobile and Social survey, travellers from Indonesia are most inclined to use mobile devices when they are on the road (98%), while Malaysian travellers rank fourth with a close 95%. 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 travellers are using mobile technology to access social media and to look for recommendations on the go with Malaysians far more likely to do so using their smartphones than the average global traveller.
|Purpose||Percentage of travellers who use their smartphones while traveling|
|Accessing social media||32%||43%|
|Sharing social media||29%||39%|
|Looking for restaurants||36%||39%|
|Looking for things to do||27%||31%|
|Looking for hotels||22%||32%|
Mind the Gap: The Mobile Opportunity
The study reveals that hospitality businesses globally are not currently meeting travellers’ mobile expectations, and Malaysia is no exception. Despite the appetite that travellers have for their mobile devices on holiday, close to a third of hoteliers globally (31%) do not do anything to reach mobile users.
|Global travellers who want||Global hoteliers who offer|
|Ability to book via mobile||33%||44%|
|Special offers for mobile users||27%||12%|
|Branded smartphone app||19%||9%|
|Branded tablet app||13%||7%|
While in 2013, only 36% of global hoteliers prioritised mobile marketing, 53% of them plan on expanding their mobile offerings in 2014. Hoteliers around the world plan to increase their mobile offerings in the coming year to include mobile booking functionality (28%), mobile-friendly website (30%), and mobile specific special offers (12%).
Social Media to Plan and to Travel
More than any other nationalities, 52% of Malaysians relied on social media to plan their last trip in order to get recommendations (73%), see pictures and videos of where they are going (73%) and find inspiration for what to do and see while they are there (71%). The data also shows that 71% of Malaysians used social media to look for deals when planning for their last trip – the highest in the world.
The survey shows that Malaysian travellers are also engaging heavily in social media during their holiday. According to the study, 87% of Malaysians use social media while on the road – significantly higher than the global average (61%). Additionally, they are significantly more likely to use social media to stay connected as compared to the average global traveller.
|Percentage of travellers who use social media on holiday for the following reasons|
|To contact people cheaply||53%||68%|
|To get recommendations while traveling||38%||49%|
|To stay up to date on friend and family news||42%||55%|
|To get overall news as per usual||32%||57%|
|To update social networks on a daily basis||28%||43%|
In line with the global average, 22% of Malaysians 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
Globally, more than 8 out of 10 hoteliers (82%) are using social media to engage with current and potential guests. The most used platforms by hoteliers across the world 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.
The other 18% of global hoteliers who do not use social media to engage with guests cite lack of knowledge (40%) and time (29%) as key reasons. The good news is 55% of global hoteliers 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 offers a direct link to travellers on the go,” added Julio Bruno, Global Vice President of Sales, TripAdvisor for Business.
For the full TripBarometer report and infographic, please visit: http://www.tripadvisor.com.my/TripAdvisorInsights/tripbarometer-malaysia-social-and-mobile.