A study commissioned by lastminute.com*, reveals that 90% of British holidaymakers spend up to 4 hours a day on their tech devices – losing over 2 days out of a week’s holiday. It seems the modern traveller is missing out on enjoying the unique landscape, culture and experiences of their holiday destination, with almost half of travellers (48%) relying on their devices to keep themselves occupied. Social media sharing is also distracting 1 in 3 (31%) holidaymakers who are preoccupied with posting real-time holiday updates for their friends and family.
The facility for immediate sharing provided by technology has also replaced the traditional holiday postcard and has made the ‘selfie’ king - 28% of holidaymakers are taking snaps of themselves and uploading them on social media. Women are the biggest ‘selfie’ sharers, with nearly a third (30%) using their kit to take pictures of themselves on holiday. Men are also keen to prove to friends and family how great they look with a tan, with 1 in 4 (25%) taking self-portraits for photo sharing sites.
Brits’ need for technology-based entertainment and sharing abroad is also directing their choice of accommodation, as over a quarter of travellers (27%) refuse to stay at a hotel that doesn’t offer free Wi-Fi. Holidaymakers surveyed even chose connectivity over luxury surroundings, with 2 in 5 (40%) choosing to stay in a 2-3* hotel with Wi-Fi over a 5* hotel without. Travellers’ need to be connected is so great, that nearly 1 in 3 (30%) would choose restaurants and bars with Wi-Fi over those without when abroad, with over 1 in 10 (14%) purchasing a foreign SIM-card on their holiday to access the internet on the go.
Mark Maddock, Managing Director of lastminute.com UK and Ireland said: “Whether it’s a good distraction or not, the reality is our customers are now always connected – and they want this to continue seamlessly when they are abroad. We are finding with our hotel partners it is no longer enough to offer guests free Wifi, it is also about the quality and speed of the internet connection. We have connected travel with technology since 1998 but would be the first to say to customers – don’t forget to switch off when you are on holiday and open your eyes to where you are in the world.”