YOUNG TRAVELERS IN the U.S. are influenced by the digital experience of the hotel and airline brands they choose, according to Travelport’s Global Data Traveler Research 2019.
Around 81 percent of Gen Z travelers consider whether a brand offers a good digital experience important for booking an airline or hotel. The percentage steadily declines with older travers, with 79 percent of Gen Y, 67 percent of Gen X and 60 percent of baby boomers sharing the preference.
Three-quarters of Gen Y travelers, 76 percent, also prefer in-room technologies including smart TV when choosing accommodation. The demand for voice search, augmented and virtual reality experiences are also significant with 64 percent of Gen Y travelers rating it highest in using voice assistants for travels. Also, 70 percent think augmented and virtual reality are useful for travel planning.
However, the frustration levels among travelers suggest the need for travel suppliers to go further transparency and simplicity demands, according to Travelport.
The majority of the travelers were frustrated by complicated rules or terms and conditions or charges around cancellations. Some 69 percent of Gen Z and 54 percent of Gen X reported frustration in not being able to see the availability and cost of extras.
Social media also is an important influencer with Gen X rated the highest, 43 percent, in using social media for researching and booking travel on social media platforms. Around half of the Gen Y travelers and a quarter of Gen Z travelers nearly always turn to travel professionals such as travel agents or tour operators for a recommendation.
The 2019 research surveyed 23,000 people from 20 countries, including 1,000 from the U.S.
The American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Lodging Survey, released in March, found that hotels focused on providing services favored by young travelers, such as common spaces and “Green Certification.”