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Published on : Thursday, October 31, 2013
The Chinese are in a hurry to book their trips, more so than most. No other nation makes more frequent use of smartphones and tablets to make travel reservations than China. Speaking at the 21st World Travel Monitor® Forum in Pisa, Rolf Freitag, president of the tourism consultancy IPK International, noted that, at four per cent, China tops the list when it comes to booking international trips with smartphones and tablets. At two per cent each, the USA, Japan and Europe follow in the rankings, but no other country reaches more than 1 per cent. Rolf Freitag: “When booking their international trips with smartphones and tablets the search is done quick and spontaneously. 70 per cent of hotel bookings made via smartphone are decided on within 24 hours.“ Despite this, globally speaking the percentage of bookings made using smartphones was still comparatively low, he added.
Worldwide, the Chinese are also ahead when it comes to using social media for travel information and are the world’s most avid users of Facebook, Skype, forums, blogs and other sites on the subject of international travel. According to the latest survey, 95 per cent of those polled in China said they made use of Skype, blogs and Facebook when preparing for trips. Europe, by contrast, lags some distance behind. 39 per cent of European respondents said they made no use whatsoever of social media for making travel arrangements. In Japan 48 per cent of those polled made no use of social media, while in the USA 35 per cent declared their ”abstinence“. By contrast, Brazilians showed a keen interest in Facebook and other social networking sites. 24 per cent of those polled said they made frequent use of social media for researching trips, while 60 per cent said they made sporadic use of blogs, travel forums and Facebook.
Worldwide, 65 per cent of travel bookings are made via the internet and 24 per cent are made through travel agencies. Martin Buck, director of the Competence Center Travel & Logistics at Messe Berlin: “In established travel markets, for example in Germany, the UK, as well as in the USA, the percentage of online bookings, those made using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, is significantly higher than in emerging travel markets. One of the main reasons is the existence of a not yet fully developed telecommunications infrastructure, in particular in Asia, which considerably restricts using the capabilities mobile devices can provide. However, particularly in the People’s Republic of China, it is only a matter of time before consumers will be able to gain widespread access to all the services on offer.”
Launched by the consultancy IPK International and sponsored by ITB Berlin, every year at the World Travel Monitor® Forum in Pisa 50 tourism experts and scientists from around the world present current statistics and the latest trends in international tourism.