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Old-school Europeans still prefer travel agencies over apps

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Europeans are less likely than Americans and Chinese to trust apps when booking holydays, a new study has shown.

The survey - conducted by Travelzoo on over 6,000 people - tried to determine how different markets affect consumers’ choices in researching and booking holidays.

While 85% of Chinese respondents pointed the use of travel apps as their primary mean of booking holidays, the figure dropped sharply with 62% of Spanish, 52% of Americans and even more so in Canada (37%), and Europe, with the UK on 35%, Germany 31% and France only 29%. 

"The Chinese population has a very close ‘relationship with digital technology,’”  Vivian Hong, Travelzoo's President of Asia Pacific explained.

“According to the China Internet Network Information Center, there are over 245 million email users in China, and the email usage rate dropped by 36.7% last year.

"By contrast, WeChat has a total of 697 million active users in China. The market here is much more trusting of technology."

The research also analysed the primary sources that consumers would trust the most when starting to search for a holiday. The vast majority of them placed more trust in travel deal websites (69%) than any other source, including guidebooks, travel agents, review sites and feedback from friends and family.

When taking the final decision though, substantial different behaviour can be noticed among the respondents, with France and Spain still considering deal websites the most influential. Canada, China, the UK and the US on the other hand reportedly confided more in review websites, while Germany respondents mainly taking the final decision according to family and friends' advice. 

"What the research shows is the significant difference of opinion across various nations regarding the most trustworthy and reliable ways of both researching and booking travel,” Richard Singer, Travelzoo's European President, said, “It's important for travel brands to recognise that these cultural nuances are the difference between success and failure in today's competitive travel environment”.

 

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