The internet is the top source for both leisure and business travel planning. The opportunities from a destination perspective are massive with 65% of leisure travellers researching online before they have even decided where to holiday. Despite the prolific use of technology in travel decision making and booking, regional tourism lags behind the consumer across all areas of e-tourism best practice. In 2015, the most potent drivers of change in how consumers search and share travel information have been mobile and social, which have impacted on a number of key consumer trends in the travel purchase cycle:
- Mobile: 87% of global travellers use mobile devices while travelling.
- Google Search: 85% of leisure travellers rely on search engines via smartphones to find local information while in destination.
- Social: Almost 50% of consumers now access social media every day; up to 79% for the 18-29 age group.
- Reviews: There are 90 new contributions posted every minute on TripAdvisor.
- Video: 35% of leisure travellers engaged in travel-related video activities within the past six months.
- Digital culture: Website best practice has moved in mammoth steps with mobile capabilities, videos, testimonials, etc.
- Values driven culture shift: Industry leads and digital change agents need to collaborate on the message on the reasons why tourism digital skills and capability are urgent.