- Tourism Market Research
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“Should we invest in social media, apps and optimise our website? Or is all this not relevant for our audience anyway?”
There is much debate among many of our clients in tourism marketing about what the mobile revolution means for their business. To answer some of these questions, we have surveyed 1,000 recent visitors to various British destinations about their use of mobile devices whilst travelling and are publishing the findings in a series of blogposts.
The majority of travellers we surveyed said that they had downloaded at least one app in the past 4 weeks. The figure below illustrates that tablet users, perhaps surprisingly, are more likely to download apps; however, smartphone users download apps more frequently. We also found that Apple users are more likely to download apps than users of other operating systems. Visitors from the UK and Australia, interestingly, were much more likely to indicate that they did not download any apps on their smartphones or tablets in the past 4 weeks.
Those who brought their mobile device on holiday were asked to indicate if they downloaded any apps when travelling. The majority of our respondents did not do so. UK visitors were more likely to not download an app during their holiday; this is surprising given that accessing the internet should be easier compared to those who visit the UK from overseas.
So what should tourism marketers make of these findings?
We see that apps are important to mobile device users. But this does not necessarily suggest that you should rush into building an app for your business! For a start, at 24%, the proportion of respondents who said they had not downloaded an app on their smartphone in the past 4 weeks is perhaps surprisingly big. Also, the majority of smartphone and tablet users said they did not download an app during their holiday. Considering the thousands and thousands of apps one can find on Apple’s App Store or Google’s Playstore this indicates that perhaps there already is more app-supply than app-demand.
Also consider that the majority of apps downloaded will be those at the top of the charts (in fact, our research confirmed that the most common apps downloaded are specific map apps, or hits like TripAdvisor, translation apps, etc.). And now, with millions of apps to choose from, the app stores are dominated by those companies that can afford to invest heavily in online advertising so as to move to the top of the charts.
Considering these figures, it may be more important for your visitor attraction or destination to feature more prominently on other organisation’s apps (e.g. TripAdvisor) or invest in a mobile-optimised website so as to allow mobile travellers to easily access content on the go in a web-browser.
Return to this website on 2nd February for more information about how visitors in Britain use social media when travelling.
About LJ Research
LJ Research is a full-service market research agency based in Edinburgh, Scotland undertaking quantitative and qualitative market research. LJ Research are tourism specialists who conduct various types of travel research and tourism research, including visitor surveys and hotel research.
About this study
Between September 2014 and December 2014 LJ Research surveyed 1,000 visitors about their usage of mobile devices during their holidays. The sample is comprised of respondents who have visited Edinburgh, London, York, and other destinations.
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