Travelers from the United States rely on their smartphones for every part of their journey, from using social media posts from friends and family to research leisure trips (62%) to sharing post trip feedback (32%), and everything in between. In Travelport’s 2018 Digital Traveler Survey of 16,000 travelers from 25 countries, trends among respondents from the U.S. indicate that mobile devices are as vital for leisure travel as for other aspects of everyday life.
Results from the survey also indicate an increasing desire among U.S. travelers for new technologies, such as voice search, e-payment and digital room keys, to simplify and enhance their leisure trips. Mobile remains crucial, but U.S. travelers want a consolidated experience on leisure trips:
- 61 percent of travelers in the U.S. have booked and paid for travel through their smartphone within the past year, and 64% are using their smartphones in route to their destination.
- On average, U.S. leisure travelers use 7-8 apps throughout their searching, booking and in-destination travel experience, with maps (52%), weather (51%) and branded airlines (50%) topping their list of most widely used apps.
- The top three most important features identified in their travel apps are real-time flight alerts throughout their journey (65%), being able to see an entire trip itinerary in one place (64%) and the ability to search & book flights (63%).
New technologies are continuing to grow in prominence for U.S. leisure travelers:
- More than half of U.S. leisure travelers would prefer to use an app for adding extras to their bookings on-the-go (54%); and the ability to pay using Apple/Android pay (Touch ID) within their travel apps is an important feature for 42 percent of U.S. travelers.
- 44 percent surveyed have used voice to search for some part of their trip, up 3 percent from the previous year; and, 20 percent of travelers from the U.S. consider voice search to be a great influencer while traveling.
- 39 percent want to use a digital room key to unlock their hotel room door from their smartphone; and 36 percent said they prefer the option to check in to their hotel via an app, rather than at a reception desk.
U.S. leisure travelers want technology to continue to simplify and enhance their travel experience:
- 70 percent of U.S. leisure travelers indicated they would happily use biometric scanning to bypass or minimize time spent waiting in security lines.
- Two-thirds of U.S. travelers agree that digital boarding passes make leisure travel “so much easier” (66%).
- Almost half of travelers surveyed from the U.S. also desire the ability to 'Live chat with a travel representative from their favorite travel app (49%).
“Travelers from the United States are highly dependent on their smartphones to search, book and along the entire journey while traveling on holiday and are rapidly embracing future travel technologies like Touch IT for payments and voice search,” said Simon Ferguson, president and managing director of Travelport Americas, in a written statement. “Our research highlights a clear opportunity to engage U.S. travelers with enhanced features on mobile apps to reduce effort and provide a convenient, end to end travel experience.”