UK travellers are demanding a high quality digital experience from airlines and hotels, new research reveals.
Two thirds (67%) of millennial travelers in the UK now actively consider whether an airline offers a good digital offering when booking a flight, while half (51%) consider it when choosing accommodation.
Almost half (48%) also get frustrated when booking information is not available round the clock on mobile devices such as smartphones and watches.
This compares to one third of Gen X travelers (34%) and just one in five baby boomers (20%), according to the global digital traveller study by Travelport.
It also found that 40% of UK millennials now want augmented reality of virtual reality to help them better plan their trips, compared with a quarter (26%) of Gen X travellers and one in ten (12%) baby boomers.
Some of the most popular questions millennial travellers in the UK ask their voice search capable devices relate to information about the weather at their destinations (53%) and directions to their hotel (49%).
Four fifths of UK millennial travellers (83%) have now reviewed videos and photos posted by travel brands on social media and a quarter (27%) ‘nearly always’ do this.
Facebook is considered the most influential social media platform for millennials in the UK. This view is shared by Gen X travellers and baby boomers, however, Gen Z travelers put Instagram ahead.
The research covered 23,000 respondents from 20 countries including 1,000 from the UK and surveyed people who had taken at least two return flights in the last year.
Travelport UK head of account management Nilo Srinivasan said: “Demand for high-quality digital experiences is notably high among all travellers, but is especially important to millennial travellers in the UK.
“Demand for a good digital experience does mean that businesses should now really be offering them as standard; with differentiation and the deepening of engagement with customers achieved through excellence.”
Sirinivasan added: “We expect the range and sophistication of questions asked through voice search to expand exponentially as more travel specific capabilities are introduced.
“So much content today on social media is travel related. According to Adweek, 52% of Facebook users are dreaming about holidays when on the channel, even when they aren’t planning a specific trip.
“This makes social media not only a fertile environment for inspiration but also an exciting channel for converting looking into booking. We’re seeing more and more companies take advantage of this.”
Half (52%) of millennial travellers also want to personalise their experience through add-ons such as extra legroom and additional baggage allowance.
But three fifths are left frustrated by not being able to understand what is included as standard (60%) and not knowing what add-ons are available to them (62%). Two fifths (39%) also get frustrated when companies don’t remember their preferences.
“Travellers today want more control and transparency when it comes to personalising their trips. The results of our study show the travel industry has work to do here,” Sirinivasan said.
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