Recently, Vector21 conducted a very exciting study of online trends in the tourism arena, just for Portugal. Surveying people in Lisbon, Porto and Algarve, Vector21 found that 78.6% confirmed that they are internet users, while 50% stated that they did in fact use the internet to find their hotel. On the other hand, findings show that although a substantial majority does use the internet to secure their holiday lodging, 34.7% do not. It does depend how you look at it of course. How about—plenty of growth room still up for grabs in Portugal?
Interestingly enough, 72% of the Portuguese (surveyed) looked for lodging directly in tourism portals, followed by 57% who used search engines.
When asked why search online, 41% pointed out lower prices and 27% claimed faster reservation processing, which of course ought to have the traditional travel agencies drawing up plans for changes, if they are to continue getting their share of the pie.
So what do the Portuguese consider most important in a travel (lodging) website. Usability comes first with 57% for easy to use navigation, followed by maps and photographs tied with clear pricing at 53%. Also worth noting, 37% gave value to regularly updated information.
But most importantly—a red flag—only a mere 27% of tourism oriented sites in Portugal are available in more than one language. A meager number considering that 86% of tourism comes from foreigners. Considering the industry’s growth, in Portugal, Europe and the World, keeping websites linguistically restricted, when a huge current of travelers are knocking on your door is more than counterproductive. Vector21’s look into Portugal’s online tourism just awarded yet another vote for web globalization.
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