Travel Tech-The Changing Landscape of Travel

In 1976 when Dr. Martin Cooper of Motorola developed the first mobile phone for commercialized use, he may have seen the massive potential this new technology possessed. 20 years later in the 1990’s, mobile phones were somewhat of a novelty item. People had the devices, but it was still in its primitive stages. Now there is an established dependent relationship with our mobile phones. Some argue that losing your mobile is a bigger catastrophe than losing a wedding ring. This dependency isn’t slowing but growing more rapidly.

It’s no wonder why travelers have adopted mobile phones and social networks to make their travel experience more pleasurable. Sometimes they just like to brag a bit. With more applications then one could use in a lifetime, the need for a compass or paper route map seems obscure. Instead, people summon their phones to book flights, rent cars, find hotels, review restaurants, see attractions, while simultaneously updating their socials withe awesome highlights of the trip. To put it in some perspective here are some numbers behind this growing movement. Information from the market research company, Lab42.

So is EVERYONE really using their smartphones on international trips? 85% of travelers are. And what about logistics? 29% of international travelers use mobile apps to book a flight and 30% make hotel reservations. When it comes to planning ahead, 15% of travelers download apps specifically for an upcoming trip. Applications like Kayak.com, Travelocity.com, and Expedia.com are among the most popular for trip planning.

And travelers love getting social while vacationing abroad. 76% of people post pictures of their trip on a social network, sometimes while they’re sill on vacation! 70% update their Facebook statuses prior to, during and post trip. Other popular activities include checking into a location via Foursquare Explore. This social activity is so popular that hotels and restaurants are trying to gain more of a social media presence. This is critical for hotel and restaurant businesses because 81% of travelers find reviews of other travelers more credible. It makes sense when 46% are talking about their hotel experiences and 40% write restaurant reviews.

This trend of technologically travel savvy vacationers is gaining more momentum as more people are interacting with the technology. For some helpful applications view our blog post of The BusBank’s favorite apps.

Image Credit: Mr. T. in DC