The habits of modern digital travelers and how to reach them

Sep. 17, 2013 at 12:01 PM ET

Travel marketers are faced with more options to engage current and potential customers than ever before.

With knowledge of customers’ travel itineraries, marketers can send timely messages and check in on travelers via email, social media, and mobile apps. But when do helpful and friendly reminders turn into nagging pokes that turn people off of a brand all together?

A study released in late August from creator of customer management technologies SDL surveyed 4,000 leisure travelers from around the world to reveal traveler behaviors and preferences.

Brits are the most likely to unplug
Given today’s digital overload, travelers try to unplug as much as possible on vacation. This would be the worst possible time for marketers to try and engage customers.

The study only breaks out travelers who say they “always unplug” or “unplug as much as possible,” which leads to a vague measurement.

Overall, Brits are the the best at unplugging on holiday (74 percent) and Americans are the worst (60 percent).


For the necessary reminders like airline reservations and hotel check-ins, the majority, or 83 percent, of global survey respondents prefer to receive reminders via email.

Only 18 percent prefer to receive them via text message and 9 percent don’t want any reminders at all.


The study also looks at where travelers book, if they use apps, who they turn to for travel tips, and whether loyalty or price matter most.

A few of SDL’s learnings from the research are as follows:

  • Vacationers want to unplug from mobile devices. This channel is best used during the planning and post-vacation portion of a trip.
  • Online is still the most popular channel for booking.
  • Price beats loyalty for many customers.Travelers trust friends’ and family’s recommendations over social media.
  • Surveys are the best way to elicit feedback from customers. Use all channels to request responses from the surveys.

More from Skift:

Copyright 2015,