Customer Behaviour

With the summer holiday season about to start in earnest it seems that despite 93% of Brits  researching holidays online, and a further 85% booking accommodation and 81% booking travel using the internet, an astonishing 76% still print out travel tickets.

Research from Canon which polled 5,000 individuals across the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain in June 2015, found that 74% of Brits print out travel documents as a precautionary measure to overcome any technological issues or potential mix-ups ‘just-in-case’ – the most likely to do so in Europe. More than half (52%) do so out of habit.

Of those Brits who do print out travel documents, 88% refer to them over the course of their trip.  However, almost two thirds of all UK respondents (61%) choose to turn to social media and the web to source information on their destination while travelling, and just 7% actually use the information provided by their booking source (i.e. online travel agencies, booking operators etc.).

When asked what information British holiday makers want readily available when travelling, the top five included: the address of the final destination (71%), a map of the destination (59%), directions to where they are staying (39%), public transportation directions to destination (33%), and key local addresses and numbers (23%).

Brits are most frustrated (36%) with the amount of pages travel documents to print out; at the same time they are the least frustrated (13%) about it being a waste of paper.

Marc Ranner, Marketing Director at Canon Europe, said: “It’s clear that whilst European travellers have embraced digital for researching, comparing prices and booking holidays, they are still very dependent on printed travel documents. Whether or not this is because of a lack of trust in the electronic systems used by travel operators, or their own personal technology, there is a strong appetite for tangible printed documents as a reliable reference.”

Ranner continues: “The message to travel companies is clear; printed travel documents are still incredibly important to holidaymakers but the information they contain could be far more useful. Rather than only providing details specific to the bookings or using whitespace to deliver targeted banner ads that are often disregarded, businesses can add value to printed travel documents to extend and improve their customers’ experience, not just by giving them the information they need, but also the details they actually want to hand in a user and print friendly way, reducing the need for them to rely on the internet while abroad.

There is also an opportunity to fuse together the benefits of the internet with the reliability of print. Using selectable or customisable online documents that allow consumers to print out what’s relevant to them is a level of personalisation that demonstrates an understanding of customer needs and shows that they are at the heart of your business.”

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