Asian travellers more tech savvy: study

11 August 2011 - 16:23 By AFP
An aircraft is silhouetted by the sun
An aircraft is silhouetted by the sun
Image: B Mathur

Asian travelers are more technologically savvy than their US and European counterparts, a study suggests.

Released August 10, the study by Boeing and the Global Business Travel Association looked at the travel habits of premium travelers and found that those from rapidly growing Asian economies are far more likely to pick an airline because of its high-tech amenities.

Food was another key factor for Asian travelers, the responses suggested, while US premium travelers cared more about the availability of a premium class and Europeans wanted newer aircraft and pre-flight lounges in their airports.

Asians were also considerably more likely to use social media in travel planning, said GBTA, with 48% turning to tools such as Twitter or Facebook, compared to only 10% of US travelers.

GBTA questioned over 1,650 long-haul premium passengers to compile the survey, which suggests that airlines should be rapidly improving in-flight technology – the results suggested that today more people are motivated to book an airline because it offers Wi-Fi and AC Power than they are to book it because of the in-flight entertainment selection.

After safety, the availability of lie-flat seats was the most important factor when it came to choosing an airline.

Unsurprisingly given the rapid rise of Asian economies such as China and Malaysia, it seems that Asian passengers are intending to travel premium far more often than their counterparts over the coming year.

The survey found that 42% of Asian travelers plans to fly premium more over the next 12 months, compared to 27% in Europe and 21% in the US.