PARIS, FRANCE, February 25, 2011 -- Coinciding with the results of a study by travel industry research firm PhocusWright, City Discovery is setting an increased priority for their mobile presence touting convenience, ease-of-use, multiple language- and location support as the main benefits to customers. The study, also sponsored by the online sightseeing tours and activity retailer, along with other industry members, states that 77% of active travelers use a mobile device when traveling.
“People already use their phones to research activities and destinations, get directions, post photos, comments and updates. It’s only a matter of time, as customers become increasingly comfortable with their devices, before mobile booking catches up to online,” says Emmanuel Issaurat, president and founder of City Discovery.
While the study still shows a low incidence of actual bookings (less than 0.3% of total activities bookings), future mobile purchasing intent is strong across all active travelers. Half of 55- to 64-year-olds say they are likely to research and purchase activities via their mobile phones.
There is reason for optimism since the PhocusWright study findings also lead with the news that tours and activities make up the bulk of the $26.8 billion travel activities sales in 2009, with potential growth slated for online bookings of the “addressable” travel activities. Online bookings are estimated at $4.08 billion or 20% of activities sales. City Discovery, however is confident that growth is inevitable as emerging technology and their expanding catalogue of products lure more customers to booking their travel activities in advance online.
Issaurat further adds that other improvements are being undertaken to overcome the usual reasons customers do not book online. With more that 5,000 tours and activites in over 400 destinations coupled with 7 years expertise and support in 15 languages, City Discovery can offer tours and activities for the different profiles of active travelers.
The study defines Active Travelers as those who has purchased or participated in an activity, tour, event or attraction while traveling in the past year.
The current market is segmented into four main demographics with each indicating a marked preference for specific types of activities and particular purchasing behaviors.The young adventurers prefer adventure trips and sports. Familes are more likely to book attractions, museums and amusement parks. Boomers and pre-seniors meanwhile generally prefer private tours/visits and wine-tastings. The adult/professionals show the widest range of preference and also higher propensity (along with the young adventurers) for using the social media to research their trips.
In the US, one-third of active travelers travel outside the country. Not surprisingly, Cultural activities and attractions are are especially popular in Europe.
Convenience and cost savings are still the driving force for sales, as evidence by the popularity of City Discovery’s all-inclusive multi-day tours from from safaris in South Africa to lovely getways in Tuscany, from all Andalucia tours in Spain to 3-day hiking tours in Ilha Grande, Brazil. The study found that 41% of tour bookers took a multi-day tour.
Multi-attraction passes are another cost-saver that travelers find useful. Often bundled with discounts and freebies, these allow traveler more flexibility than the multi-day tours where their itineraries are set by the tour operators. According to the study 65% of active travelers consider multi-attraction pass products as very important when planning their trips.
The Web is the most common booking method for ground transportation, amusement parks and air tours. City Discovery and its sister company World Airport Transfer provide shared and private transfer options in more than 400 ports, airports and train stations all over the world.
About City Discovery
City Discovery is a leading provider of sightseeing tours, travel experiences and ground transportation worldwide. With over 5,000 carefully selected travel activities in 400 destinations and user-friendly features such as traveler reviews, wishbox, suggested itineraries and gift certificates, City Discovery sells directly to consumers through City-Discovery.com and a network of over 7,500 travel agencies and affiliates. City Discovery is available in 15 languages and has offices in USA, France, Greece, Italy, Brazil, and the Philippines.