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2014 Global Traveler Study

The 2014 Global Traveler Study offers hotel and restaurant executives detailed insight into the mind of the modern traveler. Through global consumer surveys across a wide range of demographics, Hospitality Technology magazine and Cognizant Business Consulting have uncovered traveler preferences for the use of mobile devices, social media, and loyalty programs in their interactions with hotels and restaurants.
Findings reveal that consumer purchasing patterns are shifting towards increasingly mobile transactions. Meanwhile, loyalty is evolving to value personalized offers and rewards, and social media has potential to become a valuable channel for ecommerce. While hotels and restaurants have been actively engaged in these platforms, findings suggest that overall current digital campaigns must continue to evolve. With the right mix of mobile functionality, location-aware messaging, social media engagement, and personalized loyalty campaigns, hotels and restaurants have significant potential to capture share-of-wallet.
Key Findings:
Social media may soon be used to generate sales.  Globally, nearly all consumers (88%) actively use social media. One in four think it’s important that their favorite casual dining restaurant use social media to provide a better experience, and 30% anticipate that they’ll use social media even more for shopping in the next two to three years.
The number of mobile hotel reservations quadrupled in the past 12 months. In 2013, a smartphone / tablet was used for 4% of hotel reservations and this year it’s 16%. Among 18- to 35-year-olds, it hit 20% and in China it hit 29%.
Consumer loyalty is a critical and evolving relationship for hospitality. Nearly two-thirds of consumers (64%) agree that it’s highly beneficial to participate in a loyalty program; however, their value system is evolving to seek more personalized offers, particularly for earning rewards and redemption.
Location-aware services represent a key opportunity for restaurants. More than one third of consumers (38%) would welcome promotions sent via text or mobile ad to their device, and nearly as many (31%) actually prefer mobile coupons over paper coupons.
China represents a critical market for active mobile engagement. On average, Chinese consumers use mobile devices and social media more readily when engaging with hospitality companies. Mobile coupons are preferred by 59% of Chinese consumers (31% global average), and 79% say it’s important for casual restaurants to use social media (25% global average).
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