Recently Skift, the largest industry intelligence and marketing platform in travel, released their 2014 State of Travel report where they captured some very interesting trends in the modern-day traveller.
The most striking trend was the emergence of a new breed of traveller they called the Silent Traveller. Apparently, this type of traveller is on the rise globally across all travelling age groups and industry players need to start taking them seriously if they want to remain relevant.
But who is the silent traveller you ask? According to Skift, the silent traveller is the travel consumer who turns to their mobile devices first, seeking solutions to in-trip challenges that have traditionally been the domain of customer-service staff in travel agencies, hotels, airlines and tour companies.
Research suggests that these travellers are not simply using their mobile devices to keep tabs on work, or read email, or download a film to watch for the evening.
They are looking for flight information and the ability to check in and out without waiting in a line at either the airport or their hotel. The Silent Traveller is using the Internet to make reservations in restaurants and discover what to do at the places they visit.
Skift further explored the demographics of the silent traveller in terms of gender, age and point of origin (urban, suburban and rural) and made some rather surprising discoveries. The urban modern lady is more likely to be a silent traveller than her male counterparts.
In the suburbs, the guys silent travel more than the ladies while more women than men in the rural areas are likely to be silent travellers! Did that surprise you? The figure below illustrates this.
Silent travellers tend to rely heavily on social media and peer reviewed websites such as Kenya Geographic to make their travel decisions. They prefer to browse for travel solutions on the net than call a customer care hotline. For such a group, a good, well-structured and detailed online resource becomes crucial and having a mobile app that reaches out to them is no longer a luxury.
This customer segment is rising rapidly and the industry has no option but to revisit their social media, mobile app and online travel strategies and carefully try to position themselves in a way they can attract their attention.
At Kenya Geographic, we have been working hard to deliver the first ever Kenyan peer-reviewed online travel guide to help the silent traveller make informed decisions about travel in Kenya.
If you are a silent traveller and you have been using Kenya Geographic as your travel planning resource, we would love to hear from you.