According to a research update just published by Phocuswright, younger people who make up 40% of the traveling European population are early adopters of voice assistants, messaging, chatbots, and social-media sharing.
In a survey of 2000+ European smartphone users, researchers found significant differences among age groups in comfort levels with the use of messaging or chat to evaluate and choose travel products, contact a hotel front desk, or get local recommendations.
Prevalent comfort levels by age group, on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being Completely Comfortable, were:
- 18-34: 5 (Completely Comfortable)
- 35-54: 3
- 55+: 1 (Not Comfortable At All)
Researchers also found:
- European travelers 18-34 are four times more likely than those 55+ to use visual social networks and apps to share experiences or stay up-to-date with favorite brands.
- Pictures posted on social media by friends or travel brands are as influential as travel reviews for those 18-34.
- 40% of social media users don't mind seeing relevant sponsored posts in their social-media feeds.
So, actionable items, for travel businesses pursuing Europeans aged 18-34:
- Post photos, videos and frequent updates on social networks.
- Run sponsored posts on social networks, but only when relevant to the non-ad content.
- Use tools available from Google and others to ensure smartphone-friendliness of all your online material.