Unplugged No More: 25-Country Expedia/Egencia Study Reveals High Levels of Dependence and Anxiety Over Mobile Devices Among Travelers

2014 Expedia/Egencia Mobile Index Examines How Mobile Devices Impact Travel;

BELLEVUE, Wash., Oct. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Expedia.com®, one of the world's largest full service online travel sites1, and Egencia®, the business travel brand of Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE), today released the results of the 2014 Expedia®/Egencia Mobile Index, a global study of mobile-device-related behavior and preferences among travelers in North America, South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The study revealed the deep dependence modern travelers have on their mobile devices – defined as a smartphone, tablet, e-reader, laptop or smartwatch. Worldwide, 94% of people bring at least one mobile device when they take personal vacations, and 97% bring at least one device on business trips.

Expedia Logo.

The 2014 Expedia/Egencia Mobile Index was commissioned by Expedia and conducted online by Northstar, a global research and consulting firm. The study was conducted among 8,856 employed adults across 25 countries.

"We are entering a new era where people are moving fluidly across desktop, phone, tablet, even wearables as they dream, plan, book and then ultimately take their trip," said Dara Khosrowshahi, President and Chief Executive Officer, Expedia, Inc. and President, Expedia Worldwide. "Travelers are not only researching and booking trips on mobile, but they're also complimenting their meals, complaining to providers and capturing every trip detail. This is the new normal when it comes to travel. We chose to take a closer look at multi-device habits amongst both leisure and business travelers worldwide to better understand how technology is being used throughout the journey so we can continue to deliver contextually relevant mobile experiences."

"For business trips, mobile devices are already a requirement for most travelers, and mobile usage trends are still increasing. This is because mobile devices and enabling-apps make corporate travel smoother and more productive. Our study makes clear how business travelers integrate mobile functionality into their trips, and helps us develop the best experience on whatever device they use," says Rob Greyber, President of Egencia.

Mobile devices effectively serve as a concierge, guide and companion for travelers, who rely on smartphones and other mobile devices at every stage. On the whole, 76% of travelers say that their smartphones are "very important/critical" to their daily lives. 70% say the same about their laptop, and 48% say the same about their tablet device. Indians are the most dependent on smartphones, with 95% categorizing the device as "very important/critical." The world's least smartphone-dependent people can be found in Norway, where only 57% consider their smartphone to be critical/very important. More than one-third (35%) of the world's travelers use their smartphones more when they travel than they do at home.

Mobile Etiquette Held in High Regard
The 2014 Expedia Mobile Index revealed that travelers are well attuned to mobile device etiquette. Courteousness and noise consciousness are particularly important, as is privacy. "Taking photos/videos of people they do not know" is considered offensive smartphone behavior by 42% of the world's travelers, trailing only "making calls on speakerphone" (53%) and "playing music/games/videos without headphones" (47%).

Technology-fueled etiquette violations respondents consider offensive include if done in public:

  Making calls on speakerphone:                

53%

  Playing music/games/videos without headphones:   

47%

  Taking photos/videos of strangers:                         

42%

  Making calls while in restaurant:                            

36%

  Video calls/FaceTime/Skype:                                 

27%

  Loud mobile device alerts:                                       

26%

  Messaging/emailing at seated performance/activity:   

24%

  Photographing food during meal:                               

18%

Complimentary WiFi Considered Top Hotel Perk
Given the ubiquity of mobile devices in travel, travelers increasingly prioritize WiFi accessibility. 56% of travelers report that WiFi availability and pricing impact their purchasing decision when selecting a flight and hotel. When asked to rank mobile-related hotel amenities, leisure travelers ranked "Complimentary WiFi" first, ahead of high-speed Internet access, wired in-room connectivity and a business center with computers and printers. Business travelers deem complimentary WiFi even more important, with 86% of travelers rating it as very or somewhat important when booking a hotel for business travel.

When they are on the road, the following mobile app/device functions are the most frequently utilized by both leisure and business travelers:

  Email/messaging:                            

61%

  Camera/video recording:                    

50%

  Maps/navigation:                               

47%

  Social media:                                    

45%

  Weather                                            

38%

  Utility (alarm, calculator)                      

33%

  Entertainment                                      

24%

While laptops and desktop computers are the most common way to book travel, 78% of business travelers have used their smartphone in a travel planning capacity and 71% use tablets. The most common uses for both devices are managing itineraries (37% and 32%) and researching destinations (35% and 32%). Other popular activities are shopping for hotels, receiving flight alerts and checking in for flights. Globally, 28% of employed adults who own a mobile device have used a smartphone or tablet to book a hotel.

Losing a passport ranked among the top fears of global travelers, with 40% citing it as their top travel anxiety. Losing money ranked second. Somewhat surprisingly, "unexpectedly losing my travel companion" came in third, but only 2% of the Spanish cite this as a fear, versus 53% of the Danish. "Losing my mobile device" tied with "losing my luggage" in the list of top five travel fears for all travelers.

"Losing all my personal information" was the top anxiety associated with losing a phone while traveling, with 58% listing it among their fears. 41% would worry about their ability to contact home. 37% would worry about the replacement cost. 29% would feel insecure/isolated, while 19% would miss their apps, music and social networks.

Despite the seeming desire to stay connected while traveling, only 35% of travelers purchase an international data/roaming plan when traveling. Indians are by far the likeliest to do so, with 68% saying yes, while in contrast only 12% of the French purchase such a plan.

16% of global travelers keep a power cord with them at all times, to recharge their mobile device the moment it loses power. A full 47% reported that they would wait to recharge a powerless phone until they returned to their hotel. 14% carry a rechargeable case/battery pack. Only 1% would pay to use a public charging station or secure power kiosk.

About Expedia.com
Expedia.com is one of the world's largest full service travel sites*, helping millions of travelers per month easily plan and book travel. Expedia.com (http://www.expedia.com/, 1-800-EXPEDIA) aims to provide the latest technology and the widest selection of top vacation destinations, cheap tickets, hotel deals, car rentals, destination weddings, cruise deals and in-destination activities, attractions, services and travel apps. With the Expedia Best Price Guarantee, Expedia.com customers can get the best rates available online for all types of travel.

Expedia, Expedia.com, Expedia Rewards, Find Yours and the Airplane logo are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners © 2014 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST # 2029030-50

1Based on a comparison of other full-service online travel agencies, defined as those providing booking and services related to air, hotel, cruise, car and activities to a global customer base. Data based on comScore Media Metrix for Expedia, Inc. Sites, Worldwide, Average Monthly Unique Visitors, Oct '12-Sept '13.

About Egencia
Egencia is a leading full-service travel management company delivering innovative business travel technology and expert local service to more than 10,000 clients in 64 countries around the world. As part of Expedia, Inc., one of the world's largest travel companies, Egencia provides forward-looking companies with the ability to drive compliance and cost savings in their travel programs, while meeting the needs and requirements of the modern business traveler. For more information please visit us at www.egencia.com or connect with us on Twitter @Egencia.

About Northstar
NORTHSTAR is a strategic marketing insights and consulting firm that aligns leading edge, customized research techniques and cultural context with proprietary and proven strategic marketing frameworks and models to drive insights to impact. Northstar's suite of services relate to the most critical elements of brand, customer and marketing strategy, with sector expertise in travel and tourism, retail, automotive, CPG, food & beverage, financial services, pharma / health care, transportation and fashion / luxury.  For more information, please go to www.northstarhub.com.

Web site: http://www.expedia.com/

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SOURCE Expedia.com