Forget the sun cream, magazines and guide books - new research released by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) of more than 10,000 travellers across 13 countries worldwide, reveals that the must-have item for a summer holiday is your smartphone.
According to the research by IHG Rewards Club, nearly 40% of travellers agree that their smartphone is the most important item to take on holiday - and 67% agree that they will use it every single day. As a result, 1 in 10 travellers clock an impressive average of 70 hours online while on holiday - almost 20% of the actual time spent on a two week holiday.
IHG Rewards Club is the first and largest hotel loyalty programme in the world, with over 80 million members worldwide. IHG is one of the world’s leading hotel companies, with over 4,700 hotels around the world and a family of nine trusted hotel brands.
IHG Rewards Club members are IHG’s most valued guests. In line with its aim of rewarding them for their loyalty, it surveyed more than 10,000 of its members worldwide in order to gain further insight into their relationships with their loyalty programme and to learn more about their travel needs.
The survey found that the smartphone is fast replacing the traditional postcard with 64% of respondents saying they use it to text friends and another 32% to Skype friends and family back home, while on holiday. However, recounting holiday experiences with friends and family still remains one of the most enjoyable ways of sharing a holiday, with one in ten travellers saying this is as enjoyable as the holiday itself.
Planning a holiday is, nearly, half the fun - (45%) of all travellers say it is the best part of a holiday and more than a third (37%) spend over a day researching a holiday.
Susanna Freer Epstein, Senior Vice President Customer Loyalty Marketing, IHG said:
“IHG is a brand and consumer driven company. We use insight to anticipate consumer trends and behaviour. This research shows how mobile technology is revolutionising the holiday experience – from enabling travellers to dream about and plan their holidays, to helping enjoy the trip itself and share their experiences with their friends and family.”
The survey also uncovered that 42% of travellers check social media every day while on holiday, with 25% of them even saying they always check Facebook before going to sleep. Taking selfies is also increasingly becoming one of the most popular ways to share holiday experiences, with 25% of travellers surveyed saying they use their smartphones for holiday selfies.
As part of the global survey, IHG Rewards Club has launched a digital hub at www.ihg.com/rewardingexperiences. It showcases the experiences available to over 80 million members worldwide – from a cultural experience at some of the world’s most famous museums, to a special family celebration or a once in-a-lifetime relaxing spa experience. It includes reviews from members and global travellers from all around the world.
IHG Rewards Club offers advantages that no other hotel company can match including; free guest Internet for all IHG Rewards Club members worldwide, across the IHG brand family and no blackout dates on Reward Nights - a loyalty programme purposefully designed to see the customer win.
Additionally, as of July 1st 2014, members will also earn more IHG Rewards Club points when they stay at any of the 180 InterContinental Hotels & Resorts worldwide. For every $1USD spent[i] on qualifying revenue during stays, such as food and beverage, these members will now earn ten IHG Rewards Club points.
The top ten uses of smartphones by holidaymakers are:
- Checking work emails – 68%
- Navigation / Maps – 67%
- Texting – 64%
- Taking holiday photos – 51%
- Making calls – 42%
- Snapping pictures of meals – 35%
- Updating Facebook / Twitter – 32%
- Skype-ing friends/family – 32%
- Playing games – 27%
- Taking selfies – 25%
[i] Hotel charges not eligible include: No Shows, Gift certificates, Health Club/Spa fees, Ticket sales, Internet Access, Audio Visual, Flowers, postage, etc.
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