With the holidays fast approaching, ‘tis the season for travel and all the baggage (get it?) that goes with it: weather delays, talkative seatmates, a succession of airport atria blurring together into one giant tile-and-glass corridor that seems to go on forever. And now, thanks to social media, we can all share our travels travails in real time.
Roughly two-thirds of U.S. travelers -- 61% -- report using social media while on vacation, according to a new survey of travelers in 22 different countries conducted by TripAdvisor. The top reason for using social media while on vacation was “fear of missing out,” cited by 46% of travelers who do so; meanwhile 42% use social media as a way to contact people cheaply, 32% to get recommendations, and 21% to update their networks on a daily basis. With refreshing honesty, 10% of people who access social media said they do it to make their friends jealous with travel updates.
Turning to devices, 85% of U.S. travelers reported using smartphones while on holiday, according to TripAdvisor, compared to just 46% for tablets; 35% of smartphone users said they access social media via their devices, compared to 18% of tablet users. Overall 74% of respondents said they use smartphones for calls, 63% for texts, and 32% for browsing the Internet; meanwhile 27% said they use tablets to access the Internet.
Unsurprisingly the hospitality industry has mobile firmly in its sights, with 46% of U.S, hoteliers planning to expand their mobile offerings in 2014, up from 37% in 2013.
On that note, a separate study conducted by Adara found that two out of three U.S. hotel customers own a smartphone, and 44% own a tablet -- but they’re more likely to use tablets than smartphones to research and book hotels.