It seems the reputation Australian consumers have as technology early adopters might be overstated, according to research by Amadeus. The researchers found that, despite Australia’s high smartphone penetration, Australian travellers are less likely to use their mobile phone when they travel compared to their APAC counterparts.

The study — “Journey of Me Insights: What Asia Pacific Travellers Want” — also found that Australians prefer peer-to-peer recommendations, rather than a travel agent or social media, but are willing to trade personal data to receive relevant offers and personalised experiences from travel providers.

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Australians less reliant on their mobiles for travel

Compared to their APAC counterparts, Australian travellers are less reliant on their mobiles when planning and travelling. Only one in three (33 per cent) use a mobile for researching and one in five (20 per cent) for booking a trip, compared to 54 per cent and 46 per cent respectively for APAC travellers.

The majority of Australians (81 per cent) still do their travel research and booking on a laptop or computer. Further to this, Australian travellers overwhelmingly prefer to receive updates and recommendations about their trip via email (62 per cent), where APAC travellers are more diverse in their preferences, including instant messaging services, travel company apps and social media.

Australians are also less inclined to use sharing economy apps compared to APAC. Interestingly, 49 per cent of Australian travellers have never used a sharing economy service such as Uber and Airbnb, whereas 75 per cent of APAC travellers have used sharing economy apps.

Aussie travellers also know how to switch off, with only 19 per cent needing to stay up to date with work or business, compared to 32 per cent in APAC.

Instead, Australian travellers go online to access maps and location information (54 per cent), let people know they are safe (52 per cent) and keep up-to-date with what is happening in the world (49 per cent).

Australians demand genuine and personalised recommendations

Recommendations from travel providers are welcome, as long as the offers are relevant and personalised, and privacy is protected, with over two thirds (62 per cent) of Australian respondents stating they are open to sharing personal information with travel providers.

Australian travellers have an appetite for trusted recommendations, delivered in real time. Consistent with the broader APAC results, online booking sites, travel review sites and word of mouth have the largest influence on Australian travellers’ planning. But Australian travellers are more heavily influenced by traveller reviews than friends and family.

Justin Montgomery, General Manager of Amadeus Australia and New Zealand said, “Australian travellers stand out due to their strong preference for genuine recommendations and experiences. They are more likely to turn to fellow travellers than a travel professional for guidance.”

He said, however, that they are still open to receiving offers from travel providers, and will share their personal information with them, but only if the provider respects their privacy and delivers real value.

“Australians’ increasing interest in international travel means there is plenty of growth opportunity for travel providers, if they can ensure they’re tailoring interactions and experiences to suit the changing preferences and needs of Australian travellers.”

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