Forget the sun cream, magazines and guide books, new research released today by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) reveals that of more than 10,000 travelers across 13 countries worldwide, the must-have item for a summer holiday is your smartphone.
According to the research by IHG Rewards Club, 64% of Indian travellers agree that their smartphone is the most important item to take on holiday and 76% agree that they will use it every single day. The research also revealed that, across the 13 countries, 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 in India, the smartphone is fast replacing the traditional postcard with 59% of respondents saying they use it to text friends and another 43% to Skype friends and family back home, while on holiday. Globally, 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 – (55%) of Indian travellers say it is the best part of a holiday and 43% 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.”
In India the survey also uncovered that more than half (52%) of travellers check social media every day while on holiday, with over a third (34%) 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 32% of travellers surveyed saying they use their smartphones for holiday selfies.