- Posted on 28 June 2016
How the constantly connected traveller creates opportunities for the marketing industry
Does this look familiar? Does it remind you of yourself or friends who travel?
We live in a world where internet access has been declared a human right and more and more people spend valuable holiday time ‘Snapchatting’ their experiences, setting the perfect Instagram shot and filter, checking in on Facebook, sharing updates on Twitter and sending photos on Whatsapp. Tourists expect to be able to constantly connect when travelling for both business and leisure, stating that free Wi-Fi is the most important amenity when booking accommodation, according to a hotels.com study. In addition, when considering 2016 travel, 46% of travellers said free hotel Wi-Fi will be a must-have amenity and they would actively choose a different hotel if Wi-Fi isn’t provided:
Having access to free Wi-Fi isn’t just about updating social media, rather it’s a source of knowledge about this new place, where a traveller has just landed, and these constantly connected travellers are understandably more engaged with mobile activity throughout their holiday and use their smartphones to find local information.
Let’s not forget millennial travellers, they are the Y generation who have grown up constantly connected and depend on it. The WYSE Travel Confederation estimates that millennial’s represent 20% of international travellers and are expected to take over 320 million international trips each year by 2020. Satisfying their need for constant connectivity on mobile is imperative for the travel industry.
Aside from free Wi-Fi in hotels, there are many services available, which allow us to be constantly connected, for example, we can extend our data package to include roaming data, connect to or rent hotspots or in some cases connect to municipal Wi-Fi. Helsinki offers city-wide free Wi-Fi that’s probably stronger than your at home connection and 32 parks in San Francisco, 137 London Underground stations and Hong Kong parks and MTR stations also provide free Wi-Fi.
Achieving reach, engagement and, ultimately, revenue is made possible by connecting with users through their Wi-Fi connection. Advertising services allow you to target users connected to Wi-Fi networks, sponsor location pins on maps or deliver location-based ads. Facebook offers the opportunity of targeting people who are travelling in a selected city or country based on their IP and home location and check in data. Or if we take the example of a restaurant, since over 70% of connected travellers search online for restaurants, why not sponsor a listing on a review site and provide travellers with an offer they can’t miss? With smart targeting and personalised experiences, in the right place, at the right time, the travel industry can maximise business potential by satisfying savvy travellers who need to be constantly connected.
However, it’s not just about ads. What else can Wi-Fi access give the travel industry? Well, 34% of mobile-loving travellers want a mobile check-in option saving them time and your staff resources. Giving travellers the chance to access reviews on the go, can also encourage them to in return leave reviews for other fellow tourists. The smartphone can act as a tour guide providing an all-round better travel experience for the connected traveller and it’s up to the travel industry to play its part.
Senior Account Manager, MENA
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