Backpackers Want Real Connections
A survey conducted by UK travel magazine TNT at its free annual Travel Show in London found most 18- to 35-year-old travellers shun social media, smartphones and tablets for travel recommendations, favouring word of mouth.
Just 14% of the 1,000 participants believed social media was the solution to all backpackers' questions, with 73% opting for personal opinions. While blogging has become part of everyday life, only 13% of those questioned used it for travel advice on the go. Old-fashioned e-mail was named best technology for keeping in touch while abroad with 29% of the vote, beating Facebook (22%), SMS (16%), Skype (15%), mobile phone (12%), landline (3%) and Twitter (1%).
While some young travellers will no doubt happily turn their backs on technology while travelling, it is highly likely that the majority are simply unwilling or unable to pay extortionate roaming and Wi-Fi charges. Hospitality companies providing complimentary connections are highly likely to gain positive exposure via social media, while those that don't will simply languish behind. This survey should be taken as a call to action: provide free Wi-Fi and slash roaming charges.
TNT is aimed at Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans living and working in London.