Saturday, April 21, 2012

Surge In Baby Boomers Going Mobile

The latest findings from a British Hotel Guest Survey has some interesting revelations that will be relative to consumers in the New Zealand market.

In 2012, the growth of smartphone ownership amongst business guest users has plateaued with just a 2 point increase, following a surge from 58% to 73% in 2010-11.

There has been a dramatic surge of leisure travellers with 61% in 2012 that are now wielding smartphones, up from 36% and 47% in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

And surprisingly it is the Baby Boomers (Aged 48 - 66) that are leading the pack, with the growth of ownership in that segment now being double that of Generation Y (aged 19 - 30). 

Searching for hotel contact details and locations via GPS are ranked as first and second most common uses, with ‘booking’ trailing behind in fifth place.

For accommodation providers, the tools that customers are using to research and book travel are changing at a rapid pace and it is imperative that properties ensure that they have a prominent mobile web presence. 

Baby Boomers are the most prolific users of commercial accommodation and it is important to acknowledge their rapid rise in smartphone ownership when considering marketing initiatives.

With the rise of connected guests travelling with smartphones, properties offering a free internet option to guests is now a gimmie, however it is worth noting that guests are now becoming discerning about the quality of their internet experience. For property owners, this may mean changing internet plans to increase data caps and bandwidth. Continued investment in guest internet networks is also required to ensure guests' ease of use, security and reliability of internet services.

And of course, some knowledge of technology by accommodation providers is required in order to have empathy and provide free-tech advice when bewildered Baby Boomers are unable to connect to the motel's WiFi.

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