Forget the sun cream, magazines and guide books, new research released by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) reveals that of more than 10,000 travellers across 13 countries worldwide, the must-have item for a summer holiday is your smartphone.
According to the research by IHG Rewards Club, 64% per cent of Indian travellers agree that their smartphone is the most important item to take on holiday and 76 per cent agree that they will use it every single day. The research also revealed that, across the 13 countries, one in 10 travellers clock an impressive average of 70 hours online while on holiday - almost 20 per cent of the actual time spent on a two week holiday.
The survey found that in India, the smartphone is fast replacing the traditional postcard with 59 per cent of respondents saying they use it to text friends and another 43 per cent to Skype friends and family back home, while on holiday. Globally, however, recounting holiday experiences with friends and family still remains one of the most enjoyable ways of sharing a holiday, with one in ten travellers saying this is as enjoyable as the holiday itself.
Planning a holiday is nearly half the fun – (55 per cent) of Indian travellers say it is the best part of a holiday and 43 per cent spend over a day researching a holiday.
Susanna Freer-Epstein, senior vice president customer loyalty marketing, IHG, said, “IHG is a brand and consumer driven company. We use insight to anticipate consumer trends and behaviour. This research shows how mobile technology is revolutionising the holiday experience – from enabling travellers to dream about and plan their holidays, to helping enjoy the trip itself and share their experiences with their friends and family.”
In India the survey also uncovered that more than half (52 per cent) of travellers check social media every day while on holiday, with over a third (34 per cent) even saying they always check Facebook before going to sleep. Taking selfies is also increasingly becoming one of the most popular ways to share holiday experiences with 32 per cent of travellers surveyed saying they use their smartphones for holiday selfies.