Attendees at today’s WTM Vision Conference Rimini will hear how the rapid adoption of tablets and smartphones by consumers around the globe is creating a new business environment for the travel and tourism industry.
Euromonitor International will present research showing how smartphones will become a significant transactional channel as customers become more comfortable using their devices for purchases as well as research.
According to Euromonitor, global online travel sales accounted for US$589 billion in 2013, amounting to 25% of total travel and tourism sales. Online sales are expected to grow faster than the total travel industry, growing 10% year-on-year and reaching US$827 billion by 2017.
And in 2017, 45% of the world’s population or 3.3 billion people will be internet users, with smartphones the most popular way of getting online.
Euromonitor also noted some changes to consumer behaviour as a result of the proliferation of devices and wider internet penetration.
It suggested that “online and mobile developments have enabled [consumers] to increasingly bypass traditional distribution, which has helped to drive growth in new business models and, particularly, peer-to-peer”.
The dominance of portable devices over fixed-line computers for internet access has led to the emergence of multi-screen consumer. Euromonitor refers to Google research which identifies sequential and simultaneous usage trends.
“In the case of sequential usage, smartphones are generally the starting point for consumers, who then move to PC, tablet or TV to continue their search for information on travel destinations and services, and possibly make their travel bookings. In the case of simultaneous usage, consumers will typically make a search on brands watched in TD advertisements through their smartphone or tablet,” Euromonitor said.
World Travel Market, Senior Director, Simon Press said: “The evidence is overwhelming. As the internet population grows and the adoption of devices increases, significant new consumer trends are emerging. Events such as the WTM Vision Conferences are helping the global travel industry understand these changes and find ways to thrive in the new economy”.