What is the new digital traveler like?

In other words, there are some macro trends that digital travelers have in common, such as the desire for personalization and the increasingly heavy use of mobile phones during their trips. However, in order to personalize a user’s experience and give the user what they want, it is essential to get to know them, which involves using available information to create increasingly extensive and more detailed profiles. To assume that the factor of using digital channels is enough to create an online strategy would be a serious error for the competitiveness of the travel industry. Our strategy must respond to the question: who is your digital traveler and what are they like?

Sources: Mitek Systems, The Global Digital Traveler Research 2017, The Impatient Consumer: Making decisions faster than ever, Google Consumer Insights, Travel Statistics 2018-2019 by Trekk Soft.

This map by Google Consumer Insights on how smartphones influence the travel purchase process shows the percentages of users who are comfortable searching for, booking and planning their entire trip on their phone. These percentages are obviously much higher than they were a few years ago.

The digital traveler has become the center of attention, and a cause for concern, for the hotel industry and for travel in general. But what do we really mean when we talk about a "digital traveler"?

Based on our experience, we deem a traveler to be "digital" when they use digital channels at some point in the decision-making and booking process of a trip, whether it be when searching for information to decide on their next destination, comparing the prices of flights, booking a hotel, etc. In other words, a digital traveler is a traveler who will, at some point, reach our digital channels looking for specific information, or a specific service or experience.

Getting to know the digital traveler

However, this point is obviously not enough to enable us to define a strategy. In an initial categorization, users who are digital natives and users who have learned to use the internet in adulthood use digital channels for different purposes and in different ways.

Another common trend that stands out is the increasing use of mobile phones, either to look up information or to book hotels and flights online.

Increasingly personalized and mobile experiences

On the other hand, there are certain common trends among internet users when they search for and book trips online: users want increasingly more personalized experiences.