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Previous age-based assumptions regarding the smartphone use of older travellers are “unhelpful” and incorrect according to latest research by e-tourism specialist Dr Andreas Liebrich.
Liebrich, from the University of Lucerne, informed the Would Tourism Board that there is absolutely no correlation between the age of a prospective traveller and smartphone holiday bookings.
Intergenerational behaviour dominates travel industry
The expert conducted a study on smartphone use within the UK, France and Germany with 1,000 adults surveyed in each country.
The aim of the study was to analyse the behaviour of the much talked about Generation Y consumers – also known as millennials –and focused on those born between 1977 and 1988.
Researchers looked at hotel and flight bookings made via smartphones and tablet devices as well as analysing the number of bookings made to local attractions and events through the same means.
The findings showed that there was no correlation between the age of the consumer and the use of this technology.
Liebrich said that “intergenerational behaviour is narrowing more than we think” when it comes to mobile use; adding that “age segmentation is not helpful”.
Moving away from stereotypes
The e-tourism specialist explained that while some differences were noted in the market there was not enough evidence to suggest a clear correlation between the age of travellers and the type of booking journey undertaken.
Instead of age-based trends, the biggest difference in booking habits was found between “heavy” and “light” users of mobile devices.
Liebrich argued that this means it is senseless for travel companies to target smartphone users based on their age as they could be alienating potential customers.
His research also looked at user responses to push offers and flash sales with “heavy” mobile users much more comfortable using these offers than “light” users.
Head of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Surrey University, Professor Graham Miller, also spoke of the research undertaken by Liebrich.
He said it was “lazy” to assume that mobile patterns and usage are determined by the age of the traveller – a fact which means travel companies may need to reconsider their marketing approach if they are to avoid losing vital customers.
Whether you use a smartphone or tablet to book your holiday this year or not it is important to ensure you have cheap travel insurance organised in advance to guarantee your safety and protect any gadgets you take away with you
Date Created: 27/04/2015