Malaysian travellers sure love to stay connected, even more so when they are on a holiday. A recent study revealed that most Malaysians tend to cling to their smartphones to share travel experiences online.

The Mobile Travel Tracker survey by Hotels.com revealed that 84% of Malaysian vacationers access social media apps on their smartphone to share their experiences on-the-go, with Facebook and Instagram being the two most popular platforms.

In fact, Hotels.com regional director (Greater China, Southeast Asia & India) Jessica Chuang said Malaysia has among the highest Instagram penetration rates in the Asia Pacific.

“However, the use of smartphones goes beyond social media, as Malaysians also rely on their phones during their travels for various purposes, from booking hotels to looking for places to eat,” she added.

Conducted in November last year, Hotel.com’s travel behaviour survey polled 300 respondents throughout Malaysia.

Staying social

When it comes to travel sharing, Facebook still reigns in Malaysia, with 82% of the respondents saying that they uploaded photos and did check-ins on the platform during their travels recently.

Instagram comes next with over half of the Malaysian travellers surveyed posting their selfies and travel images on the platform. Meanwhile, Snapchat has declined in popularity with only 10% of respondents using the platform during their travels.

Another interesting takeaway from the study is how a majority of those polled (66%) admit that they would only visit a destination if it was great for their social media posts.

While photos of food (71%) and loved ones (69%) are popular subjects for Malaysians’ #Instatravel posts, many are reluctant to show images of them partying overseas, with only 32% admitting to doing so.

Essential item

travellers

Malaysians are not the only ones who cling to their smartphones as many international tourists are also dependent on their mobile devices.

If anything, a smartphone proves to be an important tool with 91% respondents saying it’s a must-have during their holidays.

This contrasts with 30% who rely on destination guidebooks, and 15% of the respondents who choose to carry around local language phrasebooks.

Apart from accessing social media (83%), smartphones are also used to access travel apps (65%), mapping apps (61%) and fitness apps (17%).

Malaysians also tend to use their phones to look for restaurant recommendations (83%). This is especially true for travellers with specific dietary requirements such as halal and vegetarian options.

Mobile booking is also popular, with 76% of Malaysians surveyed using smartphones to book their accommodations prior to a trip.

Mass appeal

travellers

A good vacation selfie is a must … especially for the French, apparently.

Meanwhile, online travel portal Opodo also released interesting results from its smartphone usage travel survey recently.

It was reported that 48% of English, German and Swedish travellers use their mobile phones less during their vacation time, while 45% of French travellers admit to using their mobile in the same way as the rest of the year.

All nationalities polled in the survey – carried out among 12,000 travellers in France, Germany, England, Sweden, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the US – said that a good battery life is important.

And like Malaysians, the international community also use their smartphones for travel snapshots. The French appears to be the most narcissistic of the bunch, topping the list of travellers (36%) who say they need this function, compared to 32% of Italians, 29% of Portuguese and 11% of Swedish travellers polled.

The majority of French travellers (70%) bring along regular cameras during their holiday, while 52% of Italians are fans of equipment that allow them to take photos underwater.