British Airways survey reveals tourists’ choices

British Airways (BA) has published the results of a survey revealing the choices of travellers and tourists when it comes to digital innovations to enhance the tourist experience.

In the BA study covering 2,000 people, smartphone was voted the most essential item (32 percent) to carry on a holiday, surpassing books, music players and tablets.

Camera applications are the second most used app on holiday (29 percent), with nearly 27 percent of women using social media to share pictures and updates from their holiday with friends, while, men prefer map and news apps.

Nick Jones, British Airways’ social media expert, said: ‘It’s no surprise that the smartphone is the one item many people can’t travel without. We know that our customers like to stay in touch with us while they’re travelling. We use Facebook, Twitter and other platforms to keep in touch with our 4.5 million cumulative followers whether they are at home or abroad.’

The airline has over 4.5 million followers on its social media channels, including Facebook (over a million likes), Twitter UK (325,000 followers), Twitter USA (347,000) Pintrest (760 pins), Instagram (23,000 followers), YouTube (26,000 subscribers), Google+ (2.5 million followers) and Sina Webo (162,608).

According to the British Airways survey, the top apps used on holiday are: the Weather app (32 percent), Camera app (29 percent), Map app (23 percent), Social media app for updates (21 percent), News app (16 percent), Social media app to find out what’s going on (14 percent), Translator app (12 percent) and local travel guide app (11 percent).

The UK’s national airline has introduced several digital innovations to enhance the customer journey. The popular British Airways app has had over three million downloads, allowing users to check-in to flights, retrieve boarding passes, access the Executive Club and save details to ‘passbook’ (Apple’s virtual wallet). The mobile boarding pass has been well accepted, with 6.5 million downloads. BA’s ‘Perfect Days’ App offers personalised dynamic travel guides.

The airline is currently testing a digital luggage tag, which could eventually mean that paper tags are discarded. The mobile technology innovations are part of a £5bn investment by British Airways in new aircraft, smarter cabins, elegant lounges, and new technologies to make the customer journey more comfortable.