The popularity of virtual reality in travel bookings is increasing
The results of the latest YouGov study on travel booking trends for the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region have been announced. The report states that 51% of respondents say the concept of virtual reality in their travel booking process is very appealing.
The study solicited input from over 10,000 travelers across 21 countries in the MENASA region and was designed to understand the latest reactions to different aspects of the travel booking experience. In particular, he researched attitudes towards peer-to-peer services, the rise of trip-planning services that use predictive technology to help develop routes, and “try before you buy” virtual reality technology. .
More than half of survey respondents found the concept of virtual reality to be very appealing, making it the most appealing technology concept to aid in their travel planning and booking process. Many also indicated their interest in VR as an added value to the decision-making experience with 64% willing to visit a travel store with the technology and 71% willing to download travel-specific VR content on their devices. A third party also confirmed they would book their next vacation following a positive in-store VR experience.
Scott Booth, Research Director and Head of Travel, Tourism and Leisure at YouGov ME “Although the outcome remains uncertain, this study demonstrates that content is king – whoever has the best and most accessible virtual reality content the earlier will most directly benefit from the technology. Over time, we would expect immersive virtual reality content to become the norm and consumers to become accustomed to making decisions based on this highly enriched content. .
When it comes to predictive route planners, 62% of respondents said they would use predictive route planning services, especially Emiratis. Additionally, 43% said they would pay to use them, which was particularly expressed among South Asian respondents. That said, 47% resisted saying it would take away some of the joy of planning their next vacation, which interestingly is also particularly common among Emiratis (65%). 71% also expressed concerns about the complete security of their data before using the concept, which was particularly expressed by Westerners (79%). Others worried about how online travel agencies would use their stored data (54%), with Westerners and Emiratis being the most worried.
Booth continues, “Some travelers especially enjoy planning their personal vacations. There is a sense of pride in coming together and experiencing exactly the right journey for them and their companions. While predictive planners represent in a sense a loss of control in planning, there is immense potential for a service that can significantly reduce the planning burden and maintain or even increase the quality and value of vacations experienced.
“With 62% of respondents saying they would use a predictive route planner, Emiratis being the most enthusiastic (78%), followed by Westerners (52%). It looks like over the next 12 months even more of MENASA travelers will get the online travel bug,” Noblet-Segers said.
Indeed, YouGov’s 2015 Travel Oracle report for MENASA found that 38% of travelers booked all their trips online in 2015 because they found more options available online. In the past 12 months, 25% of leisure travelers have used an online travel agency to book flights, with 19% booking directly online and only 11% through an offline travel agency. The report also found that 57% of travelers said technology made planning and booking their trip more spontaneous.
Peer-to-peer services, which are technology-based networks related to the hospitality/tourism industry but offering personal services and sold through a technology-based platform and including car reservation services like Uber, and online accommodation portals like Airbnb, was another area highlighted by the YouGov Travel Trends report.
More than three-quarters of respondents were aware of peer-to-peer services for transport booking, but current usage statistics for business and leisure travel are still quite low, at just 15% and 12% respectively . However, when it comes to hosting, only 55% of respondents were familiar with the concept, of which only 9% currently use it for work or leisure. On the positive side, 27% said they found the idea of using peer-to-peer taxi services very appealing, with 17% finding peer-to-peer accommodation services very appealing.
Now in its 23rd year, ATM 2016 will build on the success of this year’s edition with the announcement of an additional venue as Reed Travel Exhibitions looks to add to its record achievements earlier this year. ATM 2015 saw a 15% year-over-year increase in visitor attendance to more than 26,000, with exhibiting companies increasing 5% to 2,873. Business deals worth over 2.5 billion US dollars were signed during the four days.