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Usage of Smartphone Applications in Tourism

Master's Thesis 2011 70 Pages

Tourism

Excerpt

Table of Contents

Dissertation Declaration

Abstract

Acknowledgements

List of Tables

List of Figures

List of Abbreviations

CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION
1. Introduction
1.1 Project Background
1.2 Aims and Objectives
1.3 Research Approach
1.4 Rationale of the Study
1.5 Dissertation Structure

CHAPTER 2 - LITERATURE REVIEW
2. Literature Review
2.1 Travel and Tourism Industry
2.2 The Tourism Industry and Mobile Applications
2.3 Consumer Profile Related to Smartphones

CHAPTER 3 - METHODOLOGY
3. Methodology
3.1 Research Design
3.2 Hypotheses
3.3 Sample Selection
3.4 Data Collection
3.5 Analysis

CHAPTER 4 - RESULTS AND MAIN FINDINGS
4. Results and Main Findings
4.1 Results of the Survey
4.2 Main Findings

CHAPTER 5 - CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5. Conclusions
6. Recommendations and Future Trends

References

Appendices

Dissertation Declaration

I agree that, should the University wish to retain it for reference purposes, a copy of my dissertation may be held by Bournemouth University normally for a period of 3 academic years. I understand that once the retention period has expired my dissertation will be destroyed.

Confidentiality

I confirm that this dissertation does not contain information of a commercial or confidential nature or include personal information other than that which would normally be in the public domain unless the relevant permissions have been obtained. In particular, any information which identifies a particular individual’s religious or political beliefs, information relating to their health, ethnicity, criminal history or gender, has been made anonymous, unless permission has been granted for its publication from the person to whom it relates.

Ethical and Health & Safety issues

I confirm that any ethical considerations associated with the proposed research dissertation were discussed with my Tutor and an appropriate research strategy was developed, which would take them into account. I also confirm that any potential health & safety risks were discussed with my Tutor and, where necessary, appropriate precautions were documented, including an appropriate risk analysis and the submission to my Tutor of an ethics checklist form.

Copyright

The copyright for this dissertation remains with me.

Requests for Information

I agree that this dissertation may be made available as the result of a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

Signed: Dilara Torun Carballes Name: Dilara Torun Carballes Date: 19.08.2011

Programme: European Tourism Management

Abstract

In recent years, smartphone applications have appeared as a new tool helping travellers create experiences. Taking into consideration the potential impact of the smartphones and mobile applications, it is important to analyse the usage of smartphone applications in tourism.

This dissertation analyses the already existing mobile applications on the tourism market, clarifies which type of consumers uses these applications during their travel process and predicts some future trends for these new mobile services.

There are several different user groups who use smartphones in a variety of different ways, from business users to media junkies. The literature review shows that the main customers are young men, who use these applications especially to plan their travel during the information phase. But smartphone applications can not only support tourists’ information processing activities such as connection and navigation in the tourism consumption stage, but also the activities in the pre-consumption and post-consumption stages.

A survey in Madrid (Spain) and Nuremberg (Germany) was conducted for this dissertation showing the main differences and similarities in using smartphone applications for tourism activities. The usage of smartphones in Germany is still more frequent than in Spain and the main used device is the iPhone from Apple. Furthermore, German as well as Spanish travellers focus their usage mainly on the information stage than on the booking process, as the majori ty of mobile applications are purely informative such as maps or tourist travel guides. The usage is also still challenged by expensive roaming charges and poor Internet connectivity.

For a successful usage tourism companies should therefore focus on aspects like secure and efficient mobile services who give tourists feel like accompanied with a reliable and personal travel guide during their whole trip. Only by improving these aspects, smartphone applications will have a successful growth on the tourism market.

Keywords: tourism, smartphone, mobile applications.

Word count of the dissertation: 12,291

Acknowledgements

I appreciate very much the support and encouragement of my family during the master and the completion of this dissertation. Special thanks to my supervisor, Ms. Teresa Villace, for her availability, advices and great support during all the process of completing this research.

This multicultural master was a wonderful experience for me and has enriched not only my professional curriculum, but also my personal life.

List of Tables

Table 1 Evolution of cellular phones

Table 2 Top Five smartphone vendors, shipments, market share, 2010 (units in millions)

Table 3 Different methods used by tourist companies in their communication with customers

Table 4 The most important answers from the survey

List of Figures

Figure 1 The travel and tourism industry

Figure 2 Components of travel and tourism

Figure 3 Six key location factors for a country's image

Figure 4 Destination for Europeans (million international tourists)

Figure 5 Three stages of tourism consumption Figure 6 The travel purchasing process

Figure 6 The travel purchasing process

Fig. 7 Gender of respondents in Nuremberg Fig. 8 Gender of respondents in Madrid

Fig. 8 Gender of respondents in Madrid

Figure 9 Gender of respondents in Nuremberg and Madrid

Figure 10 Age of respondents in Nuremberg

Figure 11 Age of respondents in Madrid

Figure 12 Age of respondents in Nuremberg and Madrid

Fig. 13 Types of smartphone in Nuremberg

Fig. 14 Types of smartphone in Madrid

Figure 15 Types of smartphone in Nuremberg and Madrid

Figure 16 Installed travel applications (both cities)

Figure 17 Parts of the planning process of a trip that through smartphones (both cities)

Figure 18 Frequency of usage of travel apps (both cities)

Figure 19 Most important reasons to carry the smartphone on a trip (both cities)

Figure 20 Usage of the smartphone in trips (national, international or both) (both cities)

Fig. 21 Most searched issues (Nuremberg)

Fig. 22 Most searched issues (Madrid)

Figure 23 Most searched issues on the smartphone while travelling (both cities)

Figure 24 Biggest problems found during the usage of the smartphone on a trip (both cities)

List of Abbreviations

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CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION

1. Introduction

This chapter focuses on the introduction of the topic, explains the project background and sets the main objectives of this dissertation. Finally the structure of the dissertation will be introduced.

1.1 Project Background

The new mobile technologies have very important implications in the tourism sector. The Internet has already profoundly changed the way travellers acquire information about tourism destinations, make their reservations and interact with others, but mobile phones will play a larger part in this process. The development of mobile operating systems and software applications has an impact on the usage and consumption of tourism services.

The new “application world” in mobile communications has already substantially increased the number of mobile services and the mobile phone is about to conquer all phases of tourism. It is becoming increasingly necessary to provide tourists with information to assist them in planning their activities. Leisure and business travellers search for fast, flexible and convenient information services of their destination.

There are several trends which indicate that tourism presents a huge potential for the use of new mobile services.

This dissertation will be concerned with the current usage of mobile applications for tourism. Many researches indicate that travellers are increasingly using this new technology during their travel decision-making process. A literature review will be conducted for this research to evidence these developments. Furthermore, a quantitative questionnaire will be used to analyse the type of tourist who demands these services, comparing a group in Spain and in Germany. Hypotheses will be set to answer main questions of the research. The second and primary data will analysed in order to define the main findings and give some recommendations for tourism businesses.

1.2 Aims and Objectives

This dissertation aims to analyse the current usage of mobile applications for tourism. The main objectives of this research are the following:

- to identify which mobile services and phone applications are existing for tourism
- to analyse the usage of mobile services for tourism
- to investigate which type of tourist is using these services
- to identify the mobile applications offered by tourism companies
- to predict future trends of mobile applications for tourism and give some recommendations for businesses

1.3 Research Approach

Primary research and secondary research have been conducted for this Master dissertation. For secondary research, corresponding literature was reviewed, although this activity was quite challenging, as the topic of this dissertation is very recent. Therefore, current documents and publications in journals and on the Internet were reviewed in order to have a background about smartphones, mobile applications and their usage in the area of tourism.

Primary data collection was required for the analysis of the topic. The primary research was conducted in a survey with 151 questionnaires on the Spanish (Madrid) and German (Nuremberg) market during June 2011.

1.4 Rationale of the Study

The author of this dissertation was interested in a new topic in the area of tourism and also has a preference for technologies. A first investigation showed that mobile communication is a fascinating area and that especially modern consumers are using these services. Few information and data was found about the usage of the mobile applications in tourism, so for the author it seems an interesting area for research. This research can benefit also tourism companies who are focusing in this field, giving those relevant data and recommendations.

1.5 Dissertation Structure

The first chapter introduces the topic of the dissertation, describes the project background and sets the main objectives. Afterwards, the second chapter reviews the literature to the investigated topic. First, the tourism industry, its components and the relation to mobile applications will be explained. The concept of smartphones and the existing smartphone applications will be introduced. Furthermore, the consumer profile of smartphones users and their behaviour with mobile applications during the travel process will be explained.

Subsequently, chapter three expounds the methodology used in the research in order to achieve the research aims and objectives. The main hypotheses will be presented and the main structure of the primary research and the questionnaire will be described. The limitations which appeared during the research will be discussed at the end of this section.

Then, chapter four focuses on the main results and findings of the primary research conducted in Madrid and Nuremberg.

In chapter five conclusions are presented analyzing the main findings and reviewing the main hypotheses.

Finally, in chapter six recommendations will be given to tourism companies and some future trends of mobile applications for tourism will be predicted.

CHAPTER 2 - LITERATURE REVIEW

2. Literature Review

This chapter introduces the definition of travel and tourism industry and explains the component sectors of the tourism industry. Furthermore, the relation between the tourism industry and the mobile applications are described.

Afterwards, the concept of smartphone and applications for mobile phones are defined. This section also includes the existing mobile applications for smartphones, the consumer profile of smartphone users, type and profile of tourist who are using mobile services for tourism, the stages of travel and the usage of mobile applications.

2.1 Travel and Tourism Industry

To introduce the topic of this dissertation, firstly it is important to explain the background which is represented by the travel and tourism industry. Therefore, in this section the components of the tourism industry will be exposed and important data regarding to the Spanish and German tourism market will be given.

2.1.1 Definition of Travel and Tourism

“Tourism comprises the activities of persons travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited” (WTO, 1992: subsequently ratified by UN Statistical Commission in 1994) (Middleton et al, 2009).

Travel and tourism does not necessarily involve travelling abroad, it takes place also within people's home country, on visits to attractions, city breaks, trips to business meeting, sport events or concerts, and Visiting Friends and Relatives (Rowe et al., 2002).

According to Sharpley (2006), definitions of travel and tourism are concerned with who is or is not a tourist instead than what a travel and tourism is. They classify the tourist according to various criteria, for example purpose of trip, distance travelled, length of stay, and are used to distinguish tourism from other forms of travel for statistical or measurement purposes. A tourist is a person who goes to another place for private interest of who is sent there by a company, but is not employed at this place.

Tourism is a broad activity, tourists are not only people on holiday, but may be on business, religious tourist or pilgrims and students studying abroad (ibid). Business tourists may go to this place for a workshop, a conference or further education, while private tourists may go there for adventure, recreation, education, pilgrimage or other purposes (Uherek, 2006).

Tourism involves a change of location and, sometimes, a change from the routine or the ordinary. There are a lot of purposes and activities measured as “tourism” (ibid).

It is misleading to describe travel and tourism as an industry because there are no clear inputs, methods of production, and chains of supply or outputs (Sharpley, 2006). But it is important to know that many sectors are industries in their own right and some tourism products and services like insurance and guide books are provided by businesses that are not travel and tourism organizations (ibid).

According to Beaver (2005) “tourism is the temporary short-term movement of people to destinations outside the places where they normally live and work and their activities during their stay at these destinations, it includes movement for all purposes, as well as day visits or excursions”.

There is a problem with the definition of tourist and tourism, the reason is because that these terms have different meanings to different people, and no universal definition has yet adopted. For Webster's New University Dictionary tourism is defined as “travelling for pleasure; the business of providing tours and services for tourists”, and a tourist as “one who travels for pleasure”. It is important to have a unique and standard definition because travel research requires it in order to establish parameters for research content and to do a measurement of tourism as an economic activity or its impact on the local, state, national or world economy (Singh, 2008).

2.1.2 The Component Sectors of the Tourism Industry

Tourism can be defined as a service industry with three main components like accommodation, transport and services (Uherek, 2006). The most visible sectors are hotels, transport operators, travel retailers and attractions, a great number of other organizations from the public and private sector at all the levels (global, regional and local) also contribute directly or indirectly to the production of travel and tourism services (Sharpley, 2006).

There are different categories of organizations within the travel and tourism industry system:

- Principals: transport operators, accommodation/hospitality providers, attractions.
- Intermediaries: tour operators, travel agencies.
- Private sector support: directly or indirectly commercial businesses.
- Public sector support: governmental and semi-governmental bodies which supports directly or indirectly.
- Sectorial organizations: trade and professional bodies representing particular industries or sectors.
- Tourism organizations: private or public bodies with an interest in travel and tourism as a whole.
- Destination organizations: public, private or partnership bodies involved in destination development and/or marketing.

Figure 1 provides a summary of the structure of the travel and tourism industry.

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Figure 1 The travel and tourism industry

Source: Sharpley, 2006.

According to Rowe (2002) it is possible to divide the components of the travel and tourism industry into six key areas, as represented in Figure 2.

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Figure 2 Components of travel and tourism

Source: Rowe (2002).

In this dissertation it will be made a comparison between two European countries, Germany and Spain. In 2010 Spain received 52.7 million of international tourists (HABITUR, 2010), representing an increase of 1% compared to 2009 (Logitravel, 2011). Among the major emitters is the United Kingdom with 23.6% of the total, followed by Germany with 16.7% and France, with a total of 8.1 million international tourists (ibid). It is important to mention the increase of tourists from Italy and Norway. International tourists made in February 2011 a total expenditure of 2.699 million Euros, which was 6.8% above that achieved the same month of 2010. This month the French market stands out with a growth of 19.9%. Germany and United Kingdom registered a fall in total spending, 7.3% and 7.2% respectively (EGATUR, 2011).

Otherwise, Germany occupies on the demand side the third place of 50 countries worldwide and the tourism sector is in Germany one of the six key location factors for a country's image (Germany Tourism, 2010).

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Figure 3 Six key location factors for a country's image

Source: Germany Tourism, 2010.

Germany received a total of 26.9 Million of international tourists in 2010. The tourists spend per night and person 84 Euros. The tourists come from the Netherlands, followed by United States of America, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Italy and Austria. All these countries represent a total of 50% of all the international tourists. Germany as a destination for Europeans is in the second place behind Spain with 40 million international tourists (Germany Tourism, 2010).

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Figure 4 Destination for Europeans (million international tourists)

Source: Germany Tourism, 2010.

2.2 The Tourism Industry and Mobile Applications

Having explained the main components in the tourism industry and presenting some relevant data referring to the tourism market in Spain and Germany, the importance of smartphones and mobile applications for this industry will be explained.

The expressions cellular (cell) phone, mobile phone, and wireless phone all refer to the same type of voice-centric mobile device that has become the indispensable personal communication tool universally (Zheng et al., 2006). The inventor of cell phone and the first person who used it is Doctor Martin Cooper; he was a Motorola engineer, who set up the first base station in New York. The world's first cell phone or commercial portable cellular was the Motorola DynaTAC and the first cell phone call was made on April 13 of 1978 while walking on a street of New York City (ibid). These cell phones had consumed a lot of power and it was necessary to recharge them frequently. The first generation of cell phones were certainly mobile or, more precisely movable, but they were not very suitable to use, which limited the number of users of the initial systems (ibid).

In the 1990's appeared the second generation of digital cellular systems such as GSM and TDMA. These were smaller and lightweight and offered longer talk and standby time. These phones also had a small monochrome LCD screen display to show phone numbers, signal strength, dialling status and simple information such as phone book, call log, voice messages, and so on (Zheng et al, 2006). Afterwards, some “clamshell” cell phones appeared which had the feature that the screen display was on the back of the cover pane to save space. After that, 2.5G cellular systems went into operations which had a better user interface, support for short-range network connectivity, a brightly coloured screen, sharp images, text display, easy use of text input, synchronization with computers and Personal Area Network (PAN) (ibid).

Smartphone´s were developed and manufactured by mobile network operators in late 1990s.

Nowadays these devices are capable for performing more computing tasks than any other cell phone (ibid). Zheng et al (2006) even thought in 2004 that smartphones would be in the future more popular in the mass market. Table 1 provides a general comparison of the three generation cell phones.

Table 1 Evolution of cellular phones

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Source: Zheng et al. (2006).

According to recent studies, the number of mobile phone subscriptions worldwide has reached 4.6 billion and is expected to increase to five billion in 2010 (CBS News, 2009). In some countries, like China, the usage of mobile phones will grow by 32% (Pico, 2009). In the final quarter of 2010, smartphones passed global PC shipments for the first time in history (Weintraub, 2011).

2.2.1 Definition of Smartphones

A smartphone is an intelligent phone and an electronic device which has functions of a mobile phone, while incorporating elements similar to those of a computer (Martin Marquez et al., 2010) . This device has its roots in the personal digital assistant (PDA) (TopTen Review, 2011) Typically, smartphone have Internet access, electronic mail, and personal organizer. One of the most important features of such devices is to allow installation of programmes, called applications. They are usually software packages, but you can also install games, programmes of communication, etc. (Martin Marquez et al., 2010).

The main features of these phones are having a touch screen or an alphanumeric keyboard which can be visible or hidden (also called QWERTY), a memory slot pair information storage, Bluetooth connectivity and Wi-Fi. In addition to these characteristics, a smartphone should have a processor, memory, a high-resolution screen, wireless connectivity (instant access to the web), an operative system, applications, camera, and video (ibid).

On January 9, 2007 in San Francisco Apple launched the iPhone. Nowadays, the best top ten smartphones are iPhone 4 from Apple, Atrix from Motorola, Thunderbolt from HTC, my Touch 4G from T-Mobile, Galaxy S from Samsung, EVO 4G from HTC, Droid X, Nexus S from Google, Droid Pro and Droid Incredible (TopTen Reviews, 2011). The trend of selling smartphones is dominating the mobile industry, for instance, in the first three days of selling the iPhone 4 Apple sold 1.7 million units (Sybase, 2011).

The Blackberry family is also a very famous smartphone or as they say “best-in-class smartphones” (Blackberry, 2010). Research In Motion (RIM) is the business behind the innovative and award-winning Blackberry product line (RIM, 2011). Blackberries were usually wireless data devices that allowed business people to stay connected with wireless emails (Zheng et al., 2006). After that, the company added to newer Blackberry devices the voice feature (ibid).

The next table shows the top five smartphone vendors, shipments, and market share from the final quarter from 2009 to 2010 and the important yearly growth. The smartphones from Nokia are the most shipped followed by them from Apple and Research In Motion (Blackberry).

Table 2 Top Five smartphone vendors, shipments, market share, 2010 (units in millions)

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Source: Weintraub, 2011.

In Q4 2010 100.9 million smartphones were shipped and the percentage of smartphones sold is growing every month.

Smartphones are suitable for busy persons who do not have enough time to be at home with the computer and do not want to miss any important email or phone call. These persons need to have a continuous access to proposals, schedules, contact information, business news, etc. Furthermore, nowadays it is not only a device appropriate for business persons, these devices have evolved into everybody’s tool (Weintraub, 2011). People can take and display pictures, capture videos, listening music with the multimedia function MP3 and download applications (or apps) to customize the smartphone. The applications range from those geared toward business tasks to entertaining games and everything in between (ibid).

2.2.2 Definition of Applications for Smartphones

Mobile device applications are small bundles of code designed and developed for use on a portable device. They improve the entertainment features of this device by providing additional utilities and functionalities; they make the device more useful because it offers games, interfaces, mobile widgets designed for use on smartphones. It exist a great quantity of applications (Dynamic Digital Advertising, 2006). Applications are easy to find, cheap and add a real value to the smartphone.

According to Harkins (2011), “a mobile application or app is software that can run a mobile device such as a cell phone or MP3 player that will allow the device to perform specific tasks that are typically restricted to PCs”. Smartphones, PDAs and some MP3 players are capable to download and use apps. For uploading apps to a smartphone it is necessary to have Internet access on the device and then connect with an app store. The most common apps are web browser; this allows accessing the Internet from the phone, games and Facebook. In the last few years the demand of mobile apps has grown to suit busy lifestyles (ibid).

Additionally, it is important to explain the two concepts of an app store. The first definition describes a store as an online store for downloading applications, and the second one interprets this space as the “Apple's online store for downloading free and paid iPhone, iPod touch and iPad applications from the third-party developers”, it was “launched along with the iPhone 3G in the summer of 2008, the App Store is accessible from the mobile device, and it is integrated into Apple's iTunes software” (PC Magazine Encyclopedia, 2011).

The App Store of Apple started a revolution in mobile computing in 2008, because in 10 months were available 35.000 free and paid apps. In this period downloads passed the one billion mark. In January 2011, an English woman downloaded the ten billion app. This idea of an app store was followed by Android, Blackberry and new Windows platforms (PC Magazine Encyclopedia, 2011).

For downloading an iPhone app it is necessary to install iTunes on a computer, the phone, iPod or iPad. The iPhone apps are not available from any Web site from Internet; the users need to have the iTunes, which is a popular portal where people download contents legally (Black, 2011). The apps can be for entertainment or for a practical use. A great variety of apps exists nowadays such as those which shows news, sports score, weather information, maps, GPS service, games, apps for cooking, newspapers, music, work, to know the stock prices, languages lessons, for travellers, and many more (ibid).

2.2.3 Existing Tourism Applications for Smartphones

As mentioned in the former section, the iPhone from Apple is one of the most popular smartphones nowadays, but in this section also applications of the Android system will be presented.

In July 2008 Apple launched the Appstore with 500 applications. By July 2011, 425,000 apps were available in Apple's App Store (Elmer-Dewitt, 2011). Over 3,000,000 Apps have been downloaded until beginning of 2010. In the year 2008 the company Google launched the operating system Android, which offers more than 200,000 applications in the Android Market (Elmer-Dewitt, 2011). Android is growing very fast, as there are 60 Android-powered smartphones available in 49 countries (Sybase, 2011).

Some mobile applications are free of charge and others have a fee for downloading. The costs for download applications start from 0.79 Euro until 39.99 Euro according to the research realized by the author. Only a small percentage of apps are for businesses. In 2009, 4.2 billion US dollars were spent on applications. In 2013 an estimated value about 30 billion US dollars will be spent on apps (Sybase, 2011).

An important fact to consider is that the following lists of iPhone and Android applications were researched during spring 2011 by the author. As the number of new applications is growing rapidly, new ones for tourism could not be included.

There is obviously more content than just simple information to be distributed by these applications.

Some applications give only information, others also offer the possibility to do reservations and few have payment options. The service offered by an application can be structured in three levels (Eriksson, 2003):

a) General information: events, accommodations, attractions, shopping, places of interest.

b) Application services:

- timetables, tickets, availability, bookings/reservations, emergency services
- geographically related services such as positioning and location based services
- directions, maps, roads, weather reports.

c) Payment options

Referring to iPhone applications with the operating system IOS (Apple), consumers can download applications from iTunes where they can find 14.144 applications for travel. There is also a special section in the Website of Apple, called “Apps for travelling” and examples according their travel category are the following (Apple, 2011 and The Phone House, 2011).

Airlines: Air Asia, Air Baltic, Air Berlin, Air Canada, Air Europa, Air France, American Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Alitalia, British Airways, China Airlines, Continental Airlines, Easyjet, Fly Turkish, Germanwings, iAirline, Iberia, Israel Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Luxair Luxembourg, Qantas Airways, Ryanair, Singapure Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Swiss, Tap Portugal, Thaiflight, Virgin Atlantic, Vueling.

Dictionaries and Translators: Langenscheidt, Lonely Planet Phrasebook, Ponds, Multi dictionary, Word Lens.

Flight searcher or flight status: Airport Status Free, Flight Board, Flight Track Pro, Flight Tracker, Flight Status, Flight Update, Infovuelos, Liligo, Logitravel.

Hotels: Accor Hotels, Booking, Expedia Hotels, Hostelworld, Hotel Booker, Hoteles.com, hotel.info, Hoteloogle, Holiday Inn, HRS, Infohostal, Marriott International, NH Hoteles, Paradores, Priceline.com, Sandman Hotel Group, Sol Melia, Starwood, Tripadvisor Hotel, Trivago.

General information: Beach Guide, Beach Locator, Check my trip, Currency, iPlaya, Kayak, Packing, The Currency Converter, Trip Advisor, Trip Journal.

Maps: Ahi's Offline Map, Amsterdam Maps, Bump Guide 2010, City Walks, Genius, Smart maps.

Rent a car: AVIS, Car Rentals, Europcar, Hertz, Izzirent, Sixt, Worldwide Car Hire.

Restaurants: All Top Restaurants, Around me, Best Restaurants Paris, Eating Out Guide, Groupon, Gastrotour, Guia Repsol My City Cuisine, Restaurantes.

Transport: Bus, Subway or Metro (All subway, All tube, Berlin Subway, New York Subway, Metro de Barcelona, Metro de Madrid, Paris), Train (Deutsche Bahn).

Travel agency: Almeida Viajes, Voyage Prive.

Travel guides: Argentina Travel Guide, Berlitz, Fodors, Black Book Guides, Boston Travel Guide, Chicago Travel Guide, Guia de Lisboa, GPS Guide, Lonely Planet, Merian Scout, Mi nube, Mobile Gay Guide, Petit Fute, Polyglott, Portugal Travel Guide, Travel Top 100, Tripwolf, Vagabond, Visit Algarve, Voyager, Wikihood, World Travel, YesCitiz.

Many consumers are used to get information with the app Flight Track about gate numbers, delays, cancellations, alternative flights in more than 5000 airports in the entire world. Also the applications of Lonely Planet are very popular, not only city guides also the phrasebooks. For instance, the Spanish phrasebook offers the possibility learning the most common Spanish words and listen audio translations. The app Currency is useful to check the conversion rates from more than 100 currencies. The Metro Paris Subway app is a helpful guide to travel through Paris, which includes metro, suburban train and bus maps and schedules. An interesting app for travellers is also Postman, which offers the option to send virtual postcards (Apple, 2011).

Smartphones like Sony Ericsson, HTC, and Samsung have the Android operating system (Rallat, 2009). This system has also his own application store called “Android Market”, and on the website there is a special section “Travel & Local” (Android Market, 2011). They have 800 payable apps and 800 free apps. For example, many tourists who are mountain climbers and hikers use the Peak Finder Alps app which gives them a panoramic view of mountain ranges. Referring to transportation it is also available the German rail journey planner called “Die Bahn Deutschland” and the “Madrid Metro & Cercanias” which includes maps, fares, timetables and a real trip calculator. Other interesting apps for travellers are the Fishing trip planner which includes a list of items for fishing or the Camp Checklist which supports you to organize your camp trips.

According to Mahecha (2011), Android and Apple drive the growth of the smartphone in the United States of America because these users make a lot of downloads of applications compared to those who use other types of mobile phones.

2.3 Consumer Profile Related to Smartphones

In this section the concept of consumer profile will be introduced. The main question is to analyse which type of consumer uses these new technology devices.

Referring to the profile of smartphones users it is essential to define first the concept. Consumer profile is a detailed analysis of the purchasing habits of a group of consumers to a particular product. This outline assess significant demographic and psychographic influences such as the user's age category, gender, education, occupation, income level, marital status, area of residence and purchase behaviour patterns. Consumer profiles are built up from extensive market research, they are used for market segmentation purposes, and the knowledge of the consumer profile is, for example, very important in the determination of a creative advertising campaign (All business, 2000 and QFinance, 2009).

As this topic is quite recent, there are several studies and statistics about the consumer profile for smartphone users. The author has chosen the most relevant studies according to her point of view.

The “Study of Internet and interactivity in mobile phones and other portable devices” of IAB Spain Research reveals that the increase of the number of smartphone users has led to a raise of different consumer profiles. In this study there are mainly four smartphone consumer profiles (IAB Spain Research, 2009):

- Basic user: persons who mainly use the device for calling and sending text messages.
- Players and social network users: linked to the profiles of younger consumers and socialization time.
- Internet surfers: important use of the web environment
- Professional users: who mainly use the phone for business purposes

This research highlights that there is an increasing number of consumers who give their smartphone a mixed use, professional as well as personal.

On the other hand, according to Sybase 365, a leader company in software for managing, analyzing and mobilizing information that belongs to the SAP Group, there are so many

smartphones such as different types of users. Sybase 365 has divided into six different profiles of users of smartphones. This research on mobile commerce has developed in 16 countries, over 4100 users, and each archetype has been generated using all nationalities, ages and both sexes. The six different profiles of smartphone consumers according their usage are the following (Soria, 2010):

- The enthusiast: he uses his smartphone to manage every aspect of his life like in a practical way like paying bills, find information, organize his social life, etc. This profile is 26% of mobile users surveyed (ibid).
- The computer specialist: is a person, who has technical knowledge and is trendiness, it means that he has usually the newest apps. He is proactive towards the next generation of products. The result of the study was that 23% of the population using smartphones fits this profile (ibid).
- The social individual: uses its smartphone to work quickly and make different connections. He is interested mainly in data collection, offer coupons and social networking. The result of the study was that 19% of users fit this profile (ibid).
- The sophisticated: they use smartphones to keep up their finances, and engaged anything from the routine such as see the balance, to complex activities like see their investments. These users are not interested in connecting to social networks, because the device is used as an organizer, but show much interest in mobile banking and mobile shopping service. The result of the survey was that 13% of the smartphone users fit this profile (ibid).
- The researcher: uses his smartphone as information seeker like political activities, as well as local news. These “researchers” represents 17% of the surveyed population that uses smartphones (ibid).
- The hermit: is the oldest and most representative segment of the Western World. Only uses the smartphone as a phone and shows no interest in other services. The hermits represent 2% of the population surveyed in the study (ibid).

Another research about the iPhone of Apple reveals that the iPhone user base consists mainly of young people adopters about three quarters of whom are previous Apple customers. This survey also reveals that 50% of iPhone users replaced conventional mobile phone while 40% replaced other smartphones. The most commonly used feature is the email, 70% of users check email on the iPhone at least once a day. 60% of users browse the internet at least once per day and three quarters of users do more web surfing on the iPhone than on their previous device (Rubicon Consulting, 2008).

To summarize the main findings of the statistical data about the consumer profile of smartphone users, it can be stated that the socio-demographic profile of the smartphone owners are more men (66.8%) than women (33.2%), young people between 12 and 35 (32.5% between 25 and 34), mostly single (59.4%) and in an upper-middle socioeconomic level (Ignis View, 2011).

The appearance of different consumer profiles will lead companies to different market strategies to when advertising and selling their smartphones.

2.3.1 Consumer Behaviour and the Usage of Tourism Applications

According to Schiffman and Kanuk (2005, p.8), consumer behaviour is defined as “the behaviour that consumers have when they search, purchase, use, evaluate and dispose products and services that they believe that will satisfy your needs”. Consumer behaviour focuses on how individuals make decisions to spend their available resources like time, money and effort, on consumption-related items. That includes what consumers buy, why, when, where, how often, how they evaluate it after and what is the influence of this evaluation in future purchases, and how consumers dispose of them. Solomon et al. (2007, p.6) incorporated the concept of consumer needs and wants into their definition as follows “Consumer behaviour is the process involved when individuals or groups select, purchase, use or dispose of products, services, ideas or experiences to satisfy needs and desires”.

But what is really significant and interesting for this thesis is the consumer behaviour in the tourism sector. The tourism consumer must be studied in the whole process of consumption, beginning with the moment in which the need for travel appears until when the tourism consumer returns home and share the memories of that trip with others (Sobejano, 2009). With the growing number of users and greater penetration into people’s life, smartphones appear to have significant influence on the travel process. It is important to examine how smartphones affect tourist behaviour (Wang et al, 2011).

Over recent years there is a wide debate on the implications of online services and Internet in activities that comprise the tourism sector. Already in 2000, Esteban Talaya et al. stated that Internet users will demand in the near future the need to access to relevant information quickly. The smartphones represent a perfect opportunity to offer consumers all type of services directly, avoiding the use of traditional intermediaries.

Tourism is an experiential and intangible product where travellers are continuously involved in complex decision processes (Jeng and Fesenmaier, 2002). Tourists constantly search for information to reduce the uncertainty and support their purchasing decisions.

Travellers take decisions about where to go, to stay and to eat, and what, where, when and how to experience all the facilities of a destination. To take these decisions, they must have access to all the relevant information needed. The following table lists the different methods currently used by tourist companies in their communication with customers (Eriksson, 2003):

Table 3 Different methods used by tourist companies in their communication with customers

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Source: Eriksson, 2003.

Today, the most common way of serving customers with information during their trip, is by printed material handed over at a front desk. Another common way is by speaking directly to customers over the phone or at a front desk. These methods have obviously disadvantages. Referring to printed material, the communication is only one way and the information starts to obsolete as soon as it leaves the printing process. The cost of serving customers by talking directly to them is extremely high (ibid).

As part of improving its competitiveness, the tourism industry needs to create the ideal tourist service: this should act as a one-to-one service, in the preferred language, be available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, all year around, with customized, constantly up-to-date information and flexible services (ibid).

The development of mobile applications can fulfil many of these needs and provide better services at a lower cost if services are based on concepts such as self service, user needs and multi language.

According to the investigation of minube.com, a social net in Spain, 27% of Spanish travellers download a mobile application related to their trip in advance (Minube, 2010).

Gretzel et al. (2006) identified purchasing activities within three stages of tourism consumption i.e., pre-consumption stage, consumption stage and post-consumption. At each stage there are different objectives and contents. In the pre-consumption stage, information is used for planning, expectation-formation, decision-making, transactions and anticipation. In the consumption stage, information is used for connection, navigation, decision-making, and on-site transaction. In the post-consumption stage, information is used for sharing, documentation, external memory and re-experiencing (see figure 5). This approach applied to the travel purchasing process is reflected in the following graphic (see figure 6).

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Figure 5 Three stages of tourism consumption Figure 6 The travel purchasing process

Source: author's own Source: author's own

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Figure 6 The travel purchasing process

Source: author´s own

The travel process includes planning the activity, booking, travelling, to be at the destination and the phase after the travel.

At the first step the consumer has an idea of a tourist destination. So first he selects the destination by searching for information. The planning process includes the information phase, the price comparison, the product information and decision, the selection of the provider, booking and the detail planning. Afterwards, the journey to the destination takes place and the traveller experiences the destination on-site. Having finished the trip, the tourist reflects about his journey and possibly will share his experiences with other people.

At these different stages, a traveller can use mobile applications for organizing his trip. In order to have a more realistic example a journey to Paris by a German tourist with an iPhone will be explained (see appendix 1).

Information and booking:

At the first stage the consumer can use apps of travel guides like Lonely Planet or Marco Polo to collect information about the travel destination, in this case Paris. Here he can look for the main tourist attractions, the top sites to visit, the climate, the recommended areas to stay for accommodation. For instance, maps can be found with the application of Google Earth or Google Maps. Information and booking services are offered by several applications; in this case the tourist searches a hotel in the main centre of Paris with Tripadvisor and the German hotel app HRS.

For the flight the traveller prefers flying with the German air company Lufthansa. He also knows that the app of Lufthansa offers the possibility to do the check-in with the app and to have available the boarding pass on his smartphone.

Journey and on-site:

Having the mobile boarding pass on his iPhone, the tourist can check the flight status with the app FlightTrack. Here is information about the possible delay, the climate at the destination airport, and maps showing the flight route. Arriving in Paris, he can use the app of Europcar to rent a car and a GPS app to find the right direction. He has the hotel reservation on his iPhone. He can search and for a restaurant or bar and make a reservation with the Fast food app. For visiting tourist attractions the tourist use Paris2go app; for speaking with French he use a dictionary app called Langenscheidt KG; to visit the Louvre Museum he use the Musee du Louvre app. And he also uses another app for other monuments in Paris like the Paris Museums and Monuments app.

After the trip to Paris, the tourist go back to Germany and give his opinion about the trip in Tripadvisor, he can share his opinion about the hotel, restaurants, museums in Twitter and Facebook, who are also available on an app.

According to a Spanish study, 22% of travellers use mobile applications in advance to their trip and 51% meanwhile (Minube, 2010). The main applications downloaded during a trip were maps (37%), information about points of interests like restaurants (20%) and transportation services (9%) (ibid). The main advantage for using applications is the possibility to amplify necessary information about the tourist destination with an easy and fast mobile service (ibid).

In 2015, 55% of European tourists will get their tickets and travel packages through their mobile phones (smartphones), according to Euromonitor, the indicator released by the World Travel Market (Solo turismo, 2010).

CHAPTER 3 - METHODOLOGY

3. Methodology

This chapter expounds the methodology used in the research in order to achieve the research aims and objectives. The methodology involves a brief description of the research design to be used. Then, the research purpose and approach will be explained. Once presented the hypotheses and the sample collection, the analysis of the data will be discussed. The limitations occurred during the research will also be mentioned at the end of this chapter.

3.1 Research Design

This research is based on a deductive approach because it is a theory-testing research which starts with a theory and is driven by hypotheses and it is linked to datasets, surveys and quantitative analysis.

3.2 Hypotheses

For the primary research and the data collection, some main hypotheses were established by the author.

The German market is generally more technology oriented than the Spanish consumer market. Additionally and mainly due to the financial crisis, the purchasing power in Germany is major than in Spain, so the possibility to own an expensive smartphone is higher (Ontoso, 2011). Based on this background, following hypothesis will be formulated:

H1: The usage of smartphones in Germany is more frequent than in Spain.

Based on tourism investigations and statistics, Germans travel more frequently than Spanish people, being even the most frequent travellers in Europe. According to the International Tourism Fair in Berlin, again in 2011 Germans will achieve a new record in tourism (Romero Castillo, 2011). Deriving from these data, the below hypothesis will be stated:

H2: The portion of Germans who have installed a travel application on their smartphone is higher than correspondent portion of Spanish users.

The travel behaviour of German and Spanish tourist seems to be different. Germans are perceived as consumers who plan in advance their trip and organize more in detail;

meanwhile Spanish travellers are more flexible and take decisions on site and “last minute”, waiting for special offers and therefore searching for information on the tourist destination itself (Ontoso, 2011). These statements can be argues as follows:

H3: German travellers use tourism app mainly in advance to their trip than Spanish users who focus the usage of apps more during their trip.

The main tourism mobile applications still offer more information and data than the possibility to book services or even pay them (Elmer-Dewitt, 2011). So here the behaviour between the two groups should be similar. The author establishes based on this information the fourth hypothesis:

H4: German as well as Spanish travellers focus their usage mainly on the information stage than on the booking process.

The most downloaded travel applications to be used during the journey are maps and guidebooks (Minube, 2010). So, the hypothesis will be the following:

H5: On-site, travellers from both countries use mainly map and travel guides applications.

According to investigations, the general profile of smartphone users is masculine and aged between 20 and 29 (Ignis View, 2011). In Germany as well as in Spain this profile should be applicable; therefore the last formulated hypothesis refers to demographic factors:

H6: German and Spanish smartphone users are both in major portion men and younger than 30 years old.

These hypotheses will be answered in chapter 4 “results and main findings” and here in section 4.2 of this dissertation.

3.3 Sample Selection

A total of 151 questionnaires were filled in by 72 people in Nuremberg (Germany) and 79 people in Madrid (Spain). Of the 72 respondents in Nuremberg, 30 were men and 42 women. And of the 79 respondents in Madrid, 45 were men and 34 women.

Respondents were aged between 19 and 60+, and were selected following a quota sampling procedure, using age and whether they have a smartphone or not as quota variables.

3.4 Data Collection

According to Aylesworth et al. (2004), “data collection is an important aspect of any type of research study“. In this research it was used the quantitative data collection method, which produce results that are easy to summarize, compare and generalize. The quantitative data gathering strategy used were questionnaires with closed-ended questions, some send by email and other made personally by the author on specific sites like Starbucks or Nuremberg City Beach. In this study, quantitative research is concerned with testing hypotheses derived from theory.

The questionnaires send by e-mail are also called web based questionnaires (ibid). The author sent the e-mail explaining the aim of the survey and identifying herself as a Master student from Bournemouth University, Heilbronn University and Rey Juan Carlos University. People received an e-mail where they clicked on a link where they filled in the questionnaire.

The questionnaire was sent to men and women, which filled in the questionnaire and send the completed questionnaires back to the researcher. The e-mail addresses were obtained from personal and professional social networks in Nuremberg and Madrid.

A total of 200 questionnaires were sent through e-mail and 50 were carried out with direct contact with individuals. The researcher received 188 completed web based questionnaires of which 37 were invalid because some people do not completed the questionnaire correctly and others made errors. The questionnaires were sent in Nuremberg and Madrid between the 4th and 11th of June 2011. The questionnaires carried out personally by the author in Starbucks and Nuremberg City Beach was made the days 4, 5 and 6 of June 2011.

The questionnaire comprises 16 questions, which will be explained below in a summarized version.

Question 1 and 2 divides the respondents into smartphone owner and non-owners. Afterwards the brand of the smartphone is asked.

Questions 3 to 4 define the possible usage and type of applied tourism applications.

Questions 5 to 7 investigate the usage and the frequency of usage of tourism applications during the planning process of a trip, e.g. from searching to booking.

Questions 8 to 10 point out the usage behaviour of the respondents during the travel, the mobile services used and the categories of travel, from domestic to international.

Questions 11 and 12 refer to which type of services respondents search during the trips and the rising problems during the usage.

Question 13 asks the respondents regarding their needs for additional apps.

Questions 14 to 16 provide demographic information such as sex, age and nationality.

The complete questionnaire, translated to English as the original versions are in Spanish and German language, can be find in the appendix 4. Also, the versions in Spanish and German are in appendix 2 and 3.

3.4.1 Pilot Test

A pilot test is essential because questionnaires must be tested prior to use to recognize possible mistakes. There are several criteria to use in evaluating a questionnaire like the purpose, directness, utility, reliability and validity (Economics Network, 2010). The researcher conducted a pre-test sending via e-mail the questionnaire to their supervisor and the contacts of her social network with in Spain and Germany, a total number of six pre-tests. Some suggestions were implemented and some errors were corrected, making the questionnaire more understandable.

3.4.2 Primary Data

According to Ellwood (2002), primary data are information that has been expressly specially made for the current research question. Primary research involves the collection of original information in order to answer a specific research difficulty, which means that the significance and accuracy of this type of data are high. Primary research should generally be used only after initial secondary sources have been investigated. There are different types of primary research like questionnaires, focus groups and hall testing, conjoint analysis and management interviews (ibid). The primary research could be divided into two types: quantitative and qualitative researches (Silverman, 2000). In this dissertation it will be used the quantitative research for the gathering of primary data.

3.4.3 Secondary Data

The search for secondary data is usually carried out after setting the objectives. Secondary information is any data originally generated for a purpose different from the objectives of current research, including results based on research conducted by external organizations and internally generated data from previous studies. Important sources of external secondary data on the market are the public institutions (government statistics), professional bodies, the market research companies, advertising agencies, trade associations, industry magazines, specialist tourist reports chamber of commerce and Internet (Schiffman and Kanuk, 2005). But according to Stewart and Kamins (1993, p.17), “not all information obtained from secondary sources is equally reliable or valid”. Information must be evaluated carefully and the credibility and date must be weighted.

During these research different types of secondary data were used such as books, e-books, journals, e-journals, statistics and official publications, professional data from companies.

The research was focused in topics like the travel and tourism industry, the component sectors of the tourism industry, mobile services, smartphone, applications, consumer profile and stages of travel.

Academic sources such as books, e-books, journals and e-journals in three languages like Spanish, English and German, have been used for this research. These were provided by the libraries of three different universities like Rey Juan Carlos University, Bournemouth University and Hochschule Heilbronn. Data and articles from journals, such as Journal of Travel Research and World Travel Organization have been collected in order to get up-to-date information about the topic.

Official statistics from official organizations such as the national tourism boards, the INE and the WTO have been used for this research.

Internet was also a very practical source because a lot of information from different websites was used like documents, news and statistics. Internet has been the main channel of getting information about the topic because the research is about a very recent subject, the tourism apps in smartphones.

Finally, dissertations and thesis from the same Master students of previous years has served to define a structure in different parts of the work and also to find interesting bibliographic sources.

3.4.4. Questionnaire

For this dissertation were carried out questionnaires. A questionnaire is a set of orderly arranged questions carefully prepared to answer the specific problems of the study (Rivera and Rivera, 2007). A questionnaire can be also defined as a list of written questions to be answered by a group of people especially designed to get information about a particular topic (Brace, 2008). All the questions designed in the questionnaire are close questions, which means that these types of questions provide a list of choices among enumerated alternatives.

Hence, the subject responses are limited to specific alternatives. This type of questions is also called fixed alternative question where the respondent is asked to choose one of the answers (Rivera and Rivera, 2007).

Close questions have many advantages, they are easier to quantify than open questions for a large number of questionnaires, the answers are easier to compare and to analyse statistically, avoid problems of interpreting respondents’ handwriting, are less time consuming because they oblige the respondent to answer particular questions (Economics Network, 2010). However, the closed questions have also disadvantages, they can suggest ideas that the respondent would not otherwise have, the information is limited, and respondents can be frustrated because their desired answer is not a choice (ibid).

There are two types of closed questions which were used in the questionnaire of this research, simple alternative responses (dichotomous) if only you can answer (yes or no, male or female) and multiple choice answers, which enables the respondent to select more than one answer (check boxes) (Harvey, 2009).

3.4.5. Limitations of the Research

During the primary and secondary research different limitations have appeared.

There is still an important lack of literature about the usage of mobile applications, especially in tourism industry, as this issue is very recent. A few numbers of investigations could be found, being Internet the main channel of obtaining information about the topic.

Other limitations were related to the languages. In the primary research, the questionnaire was written in German and Spanish, and then translated into English. In the secondary research, information and sources in English, Spanish and German have been used, having to translate some of them.

3.5 Analysis

For this research, the computer programme called Microsoft Excel was used, mainly for the analysis of the questionnaires conducted in Nuremberg and Madrid. All the collected data was typed in Microsoft Excel 2007 and graphics were created.

CHAPTER 4 - RESULTS AND MAIN FINDINGS

4. Results and Main Findings

This chapter presents the results and main findings obtained from the questionnaire done in Nuremberg and Madrid. It is important to say that the results of this research are not all representative due to the small size of the sample (151 people).

4.1 Results of the Survey

The following figures show the gender and age of the respondents in Nuremberg and Madrid. The sample in Nuremberg was composed by 30 men (41.67%) and 42 women (58.33%). In Madrid 45 men (56.96%) and 34 women (43.04%) responded to the questionnaire.

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Fig. 7 Gender of respondents in Nuremberg Fig. 8 Gender of respondents in Madrid

Source: author's own Source: author's own

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Fig. 8 Gender of respondents in Madrid

Source: author´s own

To summarize, from 151 respondents in total, 75 were men (49.67%) and 76 women (50.33%).

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Figure 9 Gender of respondents in Nuremberg and Madrid

Source: author's own

Most of the respondents in Nuremberg and Madrid were aged between 20 and 29 years old, which means that the sample is based on a young population. In comparison the group of people aged until 19 years old are only represented by 11.11% in Nuremberg and no one in Madrid. In Nuremberg only 2.78% of the respondents are 60 years old or more and no one in Madrid.

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Figure 10 Age of respondents in Nuremberg

Source: author's own

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Figure 11 Age of respondents in Madrid

Source: author's own

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Figure 12 Age of respondents in Nuremberg and Madrid

Source: author´s own

According to which type of smartphone the 72 respondents have in Nuremberg, a total of 55.56% own an iPhone, followed by HTC (16.67%), Samsung (13.89%) and Blackberry (8.33%). On the other hand, in Madrid of the 79 respondents, a total of 36.71% have an iPhone, followed by 18.99% who have a Blackberry, 17.72% have other smartphone brands, 15.19% own a Samsung and 11.39% a HTC smartphone. The iPhone has a dominant presence in Germany, while in Spain this percentage is divided between iPhone and Blackberry users.

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Fig. 13 Types of smartphone in Nuremberg

Source: author´s own

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Fig. 14 Types of smartphone in Madrid

Source: author´s own

To summarize, figure 15 shows that the majority of people in Nuremberg and in Madrid have an iPhone (45.7%), followed by Samsung (14.57%), Blackberry and HTC, both with 13.91%. An interesting data is that no one of the 151 respondents owns a LG smartphone.

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Figure 15 Types of smartphone in Nuremberg and Madrid

Source: author's own

This survey reveals that 52.78% of smartphone users from Nuremberg have installed travel applications on their mobile and 58.23% in Madrid. And both cities a total of 55.63% of the respondents have installed travel applications on their smartphones. In Nuremberg, 26.92% have installed dictionaries, 23.08% maps, 19.23% travel guides, 15.38% airline apps, 13.46% hotel apps and only 1.92% online travel agency apps. In Madrid, the results are a different, 34.07% have installed maps, 18.68% travel guides, 17.58% dictionaries, 13.19% hotel apps, 9.89% airline and only 6.59% online travel agency apps.

To summarize, the most installed app in both cities were maps (28.21%), followed by dictionaries (22.56%), 18.97% travel guides, 13.33% hotel, 12.82% airline and only 4.10% online travel agency apps. See the following graphic.

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Figure 16 Installed travel applications (both cities)

Source: author's own

Only 30.56% of the respondents from Nuremberg use a travel app to plan their trips and 41.77% in Madrid. Summarizing, only 36.42% of the respondents from both cities use a travel app to plan their trips.

According to which parts of the planning process of a trip has the respondents from Nuremberg made through their smartphone, 26.67% search for a restaurant, 18.33% read about the destination to visit and 8.33% search for travel deals. In Madrid the respondents answered that they made through their smartphone the following parts of the planning process of a trip, 22.22% search for restaurants, 20% read about the destination to visit, 16.67% search for accommodation, 14.44% search for flights, 6.67% search for tickets for an attraction and 4.44% book an accommodation through their smartphones.

And to sum up, the majority of respondents of both cities answered that they search for a restaurant (24.76%), read about the destination (19.05%), 9.05% search for an accommodation, 8.1% search for flights and another 8.1% search for travel deals.

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Figure 17 Parts of the planning process of a trip that through smartphones (both cities)

Source: author's own

Referring to the frequency that the respondents from Nuremberg use the travel apps, 52.78% use them sometimes, 38.89% never use them and only 8.33% use them often. In Madrid, 45.57% never use them, followed by 41.77% which use them sometimes and only 11.39% use them often. Adding both cities, 47.02% use them sometimes, 42.38% never and 9.93 % often.

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Figure 18 Frequency of usage of travel apps (both cities)

Source: author's own

A total of 94.44% of the respondents from Nuremberg prefer to carry their smartphones when they travel, while 89.87% of the respondents from Madrid, and in both cities in total 92.05% take their smartphone with them when they travel.

During the trip, the respondents from Nuremberg consider that the most important reasons for carrying their smartphone are for communicating by telephone (26.45%), 22.31% to use the camera, for Internet browsing (17.36%), to communicate online (12.4%), to use other apps (10.74%) and to use travel apps (6.61%). On the other hand, the respondents from Madrid answered that they carry their smartphone in a trip to communicate by telephone (25.11%), followed by having access to the Internet (20.18%), to communicate online (19.73%), to use the camera (16.14%), to use other apps (8.52%) and to use the travel apps (8.52%).

To summarize, the respondents of both cities carry their smartphones on their trips mainly to communicate by telephone (25.81%), to use the camera (19.35%), to access the Internet (18.71%), to use other apps (9.68%) and only 6.88% carry them to use travel apps. Here is important evidence, that the usage of mobile applications for travel needs is quite still low.

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Figure 19 Most important reasons to carry the smartphone on a trip (both cities)

Source: author's own

According to the question “Did you use your smartphone in national or international travel?” the majority of the respondents from Nuremberg answered that mainly for both (25%), followed by national (19.44%) and international (13.89%). The respondents from Madrid answered also that mainly for both (53.16%), followed by national (26.58%) and international (2.53%).

To recapitulate, both cities have similar results because the respondents from both cities answered that they use their smartphone for both trips (39.74%), followed by national trips (23.18%) and international (7.95%).

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Figure 20 Usage of the smartphone in trips (national, international or both) (both cities)

Source: author's own

According to the most searched things on their smartphone while they are travelling, the respondents from Nuremberg answered that 26.56% search for restaurants, for attractions (15.63%), for city guides (14.06%), for flight status (12.5%) and for accommodation (6.25%). The respondents from Madrid answered that they search mainly for restaurants (23.58%), city guides (17.07%), attractions (13.82%), accommodation (11.38%) and flight status (8.13%).

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Fig. 21 Most searched issues (Nuremberg)

Source: author´s own

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Fig. 22 Most searched issues (Madrid)

Source: author´s own

Summarizing, the respondents of both cities answered that they search mainly for restaurants (25.1%), then for city guides (15.54%), attractions (14.74%), flight status (10.36%) and accommodation (8.76%).

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Figure 23 Most searched issues on the smartphone while travelling (both cities)

Source: author's own

According to the biggest problems found when people use their smartphones on a trip, the greatest frustration is for the respondents from Nuremberg the expensive Internet access (51.06%), followed by the poor connectivity (25.53%), the small screen (12.77%) and the difficulty to find an address or map (2.13%). In Madrid, the respondents answered that the greatest problem is that the Internet access is very expensive (40.2%), then the bad connection (25.49%), the small screen (20.59%) and the complexity to find an address or map (1.96%).

Figure 24 shows that, in both Nuremberg and in Madrid, the major problem are that the Internet access is very costly (45.41%); the bad connection (25.51%), the small screen (16.84%) and the trouble to find addresses or maps (2.04%).

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Figure 24 Biggest problems found during the usage of the smartphone on a trip (both cities)

Source: author's own

Finally, to the question “Do you think we need more travel apps?” 66.67% of the respondents from Nuremberg answered no, and 60.76% respondents from Madrid answered yes. To sum up, the majority of the respondents from both cities answered no (52.32%).

In order to summarize the main important answers, in the following table an overview will be given. In addition, the answers are focused on the results of both cities (Nuremberg and Madrid) and the average of both cities. The details of the results can be found in appendix 5.

Table 4 The most important answers from the survey

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4.2 Main Findings

This section illustrates the results compared with the hypotheses formulated at the beginning of the primary research.

In order to have a more generic approach to the collected data, in the following the results from Nuremberg will be representative for the German market and the results from Madrid for the Spanish one.

H1: The usage of smartphones in Germany is more frequent than in Spain.

The first hypothesis is based on the answers to the first filtering question of the survey, although not being part of the sample. Here 26.85% of the Spanish respondents denied owning a smartphone compared to 10% of German respondents, i.e. that 90% of German respondents possess such device. So consequently, the first stated hypothesis is affirmed with these obtained results. This observation could be interesting when launching promotional campaigns in Europe for smartphones.

Furthermore, it was referred to the higher purchasing power in Germany and the possibility to own an expensive smartphone like the smartphone from Apple. More than 50% of German users own an iPhone whilst in Spain this percentage is divided up between iPhone and Blackberries. This data is interesting for both companies; the usage of Blackberries in Germany is not as much frequent as in Spain.

H2: The portion of Germans who have installed a travel application on their smartphone is higher than to the correspondent portion of Spanish users.

This survey exposes that 52.78% of smartphone users from Germany have installed travel applications on their mobile and 58.23% in Spain. A slightly higher number of Spanish users have installed a travel application on their mobile phone. The second hypothesis could not be confirmed.

But almost 50% of the respondents are of the opinion that there is a lack of tourism applications and that the new applications are needed. This is an interesting evidence for companies who are not represented on the app download stores.

H3: German travellers use tourism app mainly in advance to their trip than Spanish users who focus the usage of apps more during their trip.

The results show that only 30.56% of the German respondents use a travel app when planning their trip compared to a quite higher percentage of 41.77% in Spain. Spanish users seem to be familiar with using application also in an advanced stage, so therefore this hypothesis could not be verified.

H4: German as well as Spanish travellers focus their usage mainly on the information stage than on the booking process.

During the planning process, both groups seem to have similar preferences; the most selected options were to search for a restaurant and to read about the travel destination. There is still a minor usage when searching for accommodation, flights or travel deals in general.

The main tourism mobile applications still offer more information and data than the possibility to book services or even pay them (Elmer-Dewitt, 2011). So here the behaviour between the two groups should be similar and therefore the hypothesis can be confirmed.

H5: On-site, travellers from both countries use mainly map and travel guides applications.

There is important evidence that the most popular applications used on smartphones by the respondents are maps, dictionaries and travel guides. So this hypothesis can be confirmed.

With a significant lower percentage, applications for hotels, airlines or travel agencies are used. This data can be an important indication for companies who want to promote their services via mobile applications and to improve the existing ones.

H6: German and Spanish smartphone users are both in major portion men and younger than 30 years old.

In Germany as well as in Spain the majority of the respondents who have a smartphone are aged between 20 and 29, but the portion between men and women was equal in the results of this survey. So here the hypothesis is confirmed only in one part. But it is important to state that other investigations or surveys affirm that the consumer profile is mainly masculine (Ignis View, 2011).

Details

Pages
70
Year
2011
ISBN (eBook)
9783656022336
ISBN (Book)
9783656022497
File size
3.4 MB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v179766
Institution / College
Bournemouth University – School of Tourism
Grade
9,7 (of 10) - distinction
Tags
tourism mobile applications smart phone

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Title: Usage of Smartphone Applications in Tourism