Digital travel tools on demand

According to recent findings by Travelport, 61 per cent of the UAE travellers are using voice search to research travel while 70 per cent of them state that good digital experience is the key when choosing airlines. Kathryn Wallington, Country Manager—UAE, Travelport shares details with TravTalk.

TT Bureau

Innovative, tech-savvy travel capabilities are essential for residents of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as four out of five UAE travellers (83 per cent) are now open to offering their biometrics to reduce waiting time in security lines, according to an independent global study commissioned by Travelport. Leading the region in innovative aviation offerings, Dubai international airport has already taken the cue by setting up biometric technologies instead of human checks to allow certain travellers to complete passport control in just 15 seconds.

Launched recently, the annual Global Digital Traveler Research surveyed more than 16,200 travellers in 25 countries who took at least one return flight last year, and revealed that over half (61 per cent) of the UAE travellers now use voice search to research their next trip and one in five (17 per cent) believe it has the greatest influence over their choices. The findings also highlight that UAE travellers are now most reliant on their smartphone when researching their trip (76 per cent). Furthermore, 64 per cent admit they feel lost without their smartphone when travelling and nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) express worry about their technology failing or running out of battery. The results of the study also revealed more than half (58 per cent) of the UAE travellers now tend to research and book all travel arrangements via smartphone, and use an average of 14 different types of apps when researching and booking their trip.

Kathryn Wallington, Country Manager—UAE, Travelport commented, “Our research findings underpin how important digital tools, such as smartphones, biometric screening and voice search, have become for the UAE travellers. For those in the global travel industry, providing relevant and timely digital tools is no longer an option, but essential to be able to reach and satisfy the travellers of the modern age.”

The research also showed that flight-related mobile app features are critical to the UAE travellers, mainly the capabilities to search and book flights (73%), receive flight alerts (67%), mobile check-in (68%), and buy extras like WiFi, baggage allowance and priority boarding (64%). Despite high use of digital channels, including smartphones, tablets and computers, the study revealed the UAE travellers faced obstacles while booking trips online.


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