New York: Indian travellers consider smartphone as their single-most indispensable travel companion, preferring it over toothbrush, deodorant and driving license while planning a trip, according to a study.
The study on mobile-device-related behaviour and preferences among travellers conducted across North America, Europe, South America and Asia Pacific found the relevance of mobile devices is tied to how the device improves the quality of travel itself.
The online study, commissioned by travel website Expedia.com and conducted by consulting firm Northstar, sought inputs from 9,642 travellers across 19 countries found that mobile devices are frequently used by leisure travellers for navigation, photo-taking and for staying connected to loved ones through social media.
"We have found that travellers are using mobile devices at every stage of the travel process, from researching and booking trips to capturing and sharing the travel experience,” said Aman Bhutani, president for Brand Expedia Group.
"Just because a traveller can use their device to read work email and stay connected to the office, they also believe it improves the quality of their vacations,” he said.
The heavy reliance on mobile devices is not true in every country. While in China (94 per cent), Taiwan (94 per cent) and Thailand (91 per cent) travellers consider smartphones as a highly important travel companion, people from Germany, Norway and Sweden tend to be less reliant on their devices, the study found.
"Consumers tell us what they do and don't like in their mobile offerings and habits, and we've been listening and steadily adapting to provide what the mobile-savvy travellers demand," Bhutani said.
According to the study, at least 60 per cent travellers who check in with work during a vacation say their travel partner or spouse does not mind. However, among Indians, who are the most likely to check in with work, one-fifth admit that their spouse or travel partner does get annoyed, the study said.
Business travelers use mobile devices to remain tightly connected to their home office. More than one half of employed travellers check in on work at least once a day while on vacation, it said.
"Mobile devices may be a requirement for business trips, however, business travel and connectivity is changing," said Rob Greyber, president of Egencia.
"Various devices allow for a seamless experience with apps that enable users to be more productive and efficient, which travellers are utilising in order to prioritise work-life balance and disconnect when possible," Greyber said.