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Social and Mobile: How the Hottest New Platforms Measure Up with Travelers

Social and Mobile: How the Hottest New Platforms Measure Up with Travelers

Over the past several years, the use of social networks and mobile devices has become ubiquitous. Perhaps more than any other developments, these two trends epitomize how technology has impacted everyday consumer lifestyles. This has broad implications, not just in terms of how people stay connected with friends and family, but in how they interact with companies, and purchase products and services. Consequently, practically every industry is struggling to keep pace, and travel is no exception.

In two new reports, PhoCusWright explores how these sweeping trends—mobile and social networks—are changing how consumers shop for, purchase and share their travel experiences. Based on a comprehensive survey of online travelers, PhoCusWright’s Traveler Technology Survey 2010: Mobile and PhoCusWright’s Traveler Technology Survey 2010: Social Networks each provide unique insight into an extremely influential technology that is impacting traveler behavior and attitudes.

PhoCusWright’s Traveler Technology Survey 2010: Mobile reveals some significant trends in device ownership, and explores the types of activities that travelers perform (and plan to perform) on mobile devices. Among the report highlights:

Keeping in touch
Among online travelers who carry smartphones, more carry touchscreen devices than non-touchscreen devices. However, only a third of those touchscreen smartphones are iPhones, suggesting that some travel companies should broaden their mobile strategy.

See what is on tap
The growth trajectory for those who intend to purchase travel products via their mobile device is extremely strong, and is projected to nearly double in 2011.


PhoCusWright’s Traveler Technology Survey 2010: Social Networks. In particular, the report focuses on travel-related communications and activities on social networks, and how this activity impacts the travel planning and sharing processes. Research highlights include:

Posting is the new postcard
While posting about general subjects is far more common than travel-related posts, nearly four in 10 social media users have posted something about travel, underscoring the importance of having a coherent social media strategy.

“Fans” or not, travelers connect with companies online
Relatively few social network users are “fans” of travel companies online; however, more than one third of online travelers have interacted with a travel company through an online social network via a computer.

These targeted reports on mobile and social networks are each based on PhoCusWright’s Traveler Technology Survey 2010, which examines consumer behavior and attitudes toward a broad array of innovations in travel technology, including new tools, functions, and platforms. The way today’s travelers use technology to plan, shop, and buy their travel is constantly changing; these reports help travel companies understand the fundamental trends and stay in the game.