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Visitors expect better from digital and mobile applications

Tatiana Rokou - 06 December 2012, 10:10

Are m-tourism services and apps truly meeting visitors’ expectations? According to the TRAVELSAT Competitive Index destinations still have to improve the m-tourism experience offering their visitors.

Based on its reference global benchmarking survey TRAVELSAT Competitive Index, TCI Research reports that destinations still have to improve m-tourism experience towards their visitors, pointing out that great technology is useless if it does not provide them the right content on the right time.

With a Competitive Index hardly exceeding 100 (meaning just “Acceptable” on the TRAVELSAT Scale), digital hospitality today is not rated higher than the “Staff efficiency in Tourist Info Centers”. However the survey highlights significant differences according to the destinations, markets and travel segments:

  • North American and Pacific regions tend to offer a better experience than European destinations.
  • Digital services and mobile apps are powerful drivers of competitiveness amongst BRIC markets.
  • Tourists coming for special motivations (cultural events, golf, shopping, parks...) tend to be more satisfied with digital hospitality experience during their stay.
  • Apps and digital services quality should be improved for short stays in priority.
  • Web influencers are happier than average with digital services...providing they have more abilities to find their way in the jungle of apps available!
Commenting the results, TCI Research CEO Olivier Henry-Biabaud adds: “Competitive destinations are those able to find the right balance between digital and human-based hospitality services, each completing the other in a consistent way all along the visit. Paradoxically abounding development of mobile apps in the tourism sector may also loose visitors destinations make so many efforts to guide! Digital hospitality should better take into consideration fluctuant visitors’ information and assistance needs during the stay and Destination Management Organisations have a key role to play for clarifying existing applications available both at trip planning and visit stages. Expected benefits for those providing better m-tourism experience: increasing spending at destination, repeat visits and recommendation levels”.

Technical note: analysis extracted from the TRAVELSAT Competitive Index Survey based on 25 000+ representative international travellers (leisure, MICE and VFR) realized in 2011 and 2012 in 200+ destinations and markets.

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