Smart phones are most popular gadgets for travelers in Africa & Middle East region
The need to stay connected at every corner of the globe, has made technology both a trusty companion and an indispensable resource for leisure travelers. According to Visa’s Global Travel Intentions Study 2013, phones are the top choice as a holiday companion (84 percent), followed by computers (60 percent), cameras (55 percent), and entertainment devices (23 percent) for travelers from Africa and the Middle East (AMEA) region.
Gadgets are used to find essential information and easily share their travel experiences with friends and family which is why 71 percent of travelers in Africa and the Middle East take a smartphone with them. The study revealed that 33 percent of travelers choose to use their devices to check-in online while abroad. This emerging trend is not just limited to the trip itself – 71 percent of travelers share their holiday experiences online after returning from their trips.
The weight of the gadget (39 percent) and internet capability (34 percent) are important factors when deciding which gadgets to bring on holiday – although the top consideration is simply because AMEA travelers are addicted and cannot live with their gadgets (43 percent). First-time travelers, however, seem to prefer to travel light as they picked the weight of their gadget as being the most important factor (50 percent).
Online sources such as travel review, service provider and official tourism websites are used by 42 percent of AMEA travelers for trip planning, 37 percent for bookings of independent travel and 33 percent for information while traveling. Travelers from Asia Pacific are the most tech-savvy, with these numbers increasing to 80 percent, 76 percent and 73 percent respectively.
“Technology has impacted every aspect of our lives, and the way that we plan and enjoy holidays is no different. While traditional word of mouth reviews from friends, relatives and guidebooks are still used – especially among travelers from Africa & the Middle East – online resources that offer reviews from frequent travelers as well as a host of other information such as currency converters, pictures, booking and discount facilities are becoming the first source of information for most global travelers.
In a positive sign for providers who are offering both information and booking solutions online, global travelers are saying that online booking processes are fast and getting easier. Visa understands this and provides a number of ecommerce solutions to make online payments secure and convenient for both merchants and customers,” said Marcello Baricordi General Manager UAE and Global Accounts Lead at Visa Inc.