Pic: Staffage, Karolina Grabowska

Travelport, the leading Travel Commerce Platform, published the results of a Global Traveler Survey of 11,000 travelers in nineteen countries that highlights the use of digital tools when planning, booking and experiencing a journey. 

It shows some striking differences in digital travel behavior between the countries in the survey, revealing South African travelers are keen researchers who mostly book a trip using a computer, smartphone or tablet.

Based on a sample of 500 people in South Africa who took at least one return flight last year, the highlights are:

When planning a trip:

  • 75% use videos and photos posted by friends as part of their travel research
  • 82% use review sites for researching their trips
  • 86% use travel booking sites to help them discover new and exciting destinations

When booking a trip:

  • 69% believe a good digital experience is important when choosing an airline
  • 79% choose hotels that do not charge for Wi-Fi
  • 54% of leisure travelers worry that the reviews might not be genuine
When on the trip:

  • 79% of travellers believe that digital boarding passes make traveling so much easier
  • 86% say that most important to them when travelling is being able to stay in touch
When at the destination:

  • They use an average of 17 different categories of apps when traveling
  • 43% want to share travel experiences on social media

The Digital Traveller Rankings

The report also includes the world’s first Digital Traveler Rankings, with South African travellers believing a good digital experience is important to support every stage of their trip. 

The table is based on a combination of the main indicators of digital usage for travel-related purposes by-travellers in each country. 

For example, over three quarters (85%) mostly booking using a computer and 79% saying digital boarding passes makes traveling easier, compared to a global average of 71%.

The league table shows the following rankings:

The Digital Traveller Rankings 2017
Rank
Country
1
India
2
China
3
Indonesia
4
Brazil
5
Saudi Arabia
6
Mexico
7
South Africa
8
United Arab Emirates
9
Colombia
10
Italy
11
United States
12
Spain
13
France
14
Russia
15
Canada
16
Australia
17
United Kingdom
18
Japan
19
Germany

Robyn Christie, Country Manager, South Africa Travelport commented: “With 20m smartphone users in South Africa, the Global Traveler Survey findings highlight considerable opportunities for travel companies to engage digitally with South African travelers, who are digitally confident and believe a good digital experience is important throughout their journeys. 

"With South African travelers mainly using computers or smartphones to book travel, it’s no surprise they are ranked in the top half of the league table.  

'Whatever the reason for digital usage by South African travelers, providing relevant and timely digital tools and content is no longer an accessory but an essential means of reaching and satisfying the modern traveler from the moment they search to the moment they return from their trip. 

"Travelport stands ready to provide the South African travel industry with the means to do this.”