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The way young, digitally-connected urban dwellers research and book holidays is being “fundamentally changed” by technology, a new study reveals.
The combination of affordable, easily-accessible city break destinations and increasing mobile penetration is shifting the travel market to a more immediate booking mind-set, and creating year-round demand for weekend escapes.
More than half (57%) of 16-34 year olds have taken a last-minute city break in the past year, according to a poll by advertising firm Exterion Media. The figure rose to two-thirds (64%) for those in London.
The research demonstrates the impact of new technologies and freely-available holiday inspiration, with 80% basing their choice of destination on online research, rising to 83% in the capital.
The prevalence of mobile is evident in the research with a third of urbanites – and 55% of those aged 16-34 – researching their holiday on their mobile phone, and nearly one in six booking on their smartphone.
Exterion Media travel, transport and tourism category director, Laura Botton, said: “Mobile is continuing to have an impact on how urbanites research and book their trips away.
“Our research shows that mobile is having an effect on how people are researching and booking their holidays – with access to the internet and apps that are available wherever they are. This is demonstrated by the fact that twice as many young Tube users booked their holiday on their phone last year as in 2014.
“For younger, digitally-savvy consumers, who are perhaps more frequently connected, there’s no shortage of inspiration with a plethora of travel research entry points available From the survey we found that four in five young Tube users use search engines or travel review sites – 81% and 82% respectively – to research their holidays.
“Image-based social media sites such as Instagram also provided inspiration, with one in five telling us it was a factor in their holiday research.”
When choosing their accommodation, three quarters of 16-34 year olds also said that Wi-Fi was an important facility – a significantly higher priority than air conditioning (40%), room size (34%), or access to a TV (28%).
“From a marketing perspective, it is apparent that this digital-savvy generation places great value on exploring the world,” Botton added.