JWT, a social network of marketing agencies, the Slovenian advertising agency Studio Marketing JWT is also a part of, published the results of an extensive survey of the behaviour of today’s travellers focused on the changes recognized with consumers and the ways and means of travel. Changed habits are mainly a result of the development of new technologies. The newest trends and changes in the way we experience and spend our vacation are based on the use of new mobile devices, real-time connectivity and social networking. The world network JWT presents the three predominant trends.
Travel’s Tiny Essentials
No more toting guidebooks and folding maps—the smartphone is replacing them, with its location-based services and guides, mobile mapping technologies and many available travel apps. It’s a one-stop shop that connects travellers with their surroundings, each other and travel brands better than any traditional travel guide ever could. A mobile phone as a final and constant companion is changing the landscape of travel and puts the information on the world around us in our grasp and offers a much more personalized experience. The travellers of today can plan their trip during the journey without missing a single step of the way.

The reasons for the Travel’s Tiny Essential trend is in the use of a mobile phone as a multifunction device, the expectation of an immediate meeting of needs, hyper-personalization of the digital world and blurring of lines between the digital and real world.

The Travel’s Tiny Essential trend can be seen through:
•    the growing number of digital guides (updated editions of printed guides, Wikitravel)
•    narrowly segmented guides and data (Google, Goggles, Goby, Room 77, Seat Authority)
•    informative/travel recommendations and advice of locals and past tourists are readily available
•    Entry of mobile phone makers onto the travel and vacation market (BlackBerry Travel App, Tripper, iTravel)

The New Travel Currency
Where travellers of old shared (and bragged about) their activities upon returning home, today’s hyper-connected and mobile-enabled vacationers are doing so in real time.  Posting photos, video and text updates amplifies the travel experience, affording an opportunity to broadcast far and wide how cool, privileged, worldly, etc. the traveller is.

The reasons for the trend of a new travel currency can be found in the possibility of publishing text, photos and video content during the travel, publishing details from your personal life and moments with your loved ones and the desire to stand out among the crowd of published experiences.

The trend of new travel currency can be seen through:

•    a high percentage of following mass cultural and sports events through comments and social media,
•    the fear of missing an experience (published over the social media),
•    entry of brands into this field (American Express, “Social Value”, Smirnoff, “Be there”).

Unplugged Holidays
In an extension of De-Teching, one the 10 Trends for 2011, presented by the global network of agencies JWT, are vacationers increasingly seeking refuge from technology: choosing to log off in an effort to reconnect with loved ones, fully recharge and savour real-world experiences. While many tourists feel comfortable with their mobile phone within reach, some feel restricted by constant reminders of obligations waiting for them back home. Some travellers see the complete disconnect from technology as the only means to truly leave the world behind.

The reasons for a disconnect from technology on vacation can be found in a desire for experiencing the now, reviving relationships with loved ones, living in real time, a growing concern on the negative effects of the digital world, blurring of the line between work and leisure time and a wide digital coverage.

The unplugged holidays trend can be seen through:

•    vacation resorts with a limited access to technology (Arawak beach in Anguilla, Innov isolation package, Via Yoga Digital Detox, offer of Quincy hotel – Be Unplugged),
•    mobile phone free areas,
•    entry of different supplier into the trend market (Melchers travel agency, “Windows desktop”; Copa Airlines, “Escape from the office”; Carnival, “Different;  The Monroe County Tourist Development Council, “Application does not exist”);

Today’s travellers are different from those even a few years ago. They’re tech-enabled, with infinite information at their fingertips, and they’re driven to share experiences as they’re having them. The countertrend is that we’re seeing more vacationers looking to get a break from technology and its dominance over their lives.

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