Internet Travel Monitor - Marketing, Research & Tech

August 1, 2018

American Travelers Rank Most Annoying Travel Habits

Agoda releases findings from its global 'Annoying Travel Habits' survey
and urges travelers to get off their phones and 'pay attention'


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With the summer holiday season in full swing, Agoda, one of the fastest growing online travel agents (OTA), has been asking travelers what they think are the most annoying travel habits.

Noisy travelers (57%), travelers glued to their devices (47%), and those insensitive to cultural nuances (46%) topped the most annoying habits of fellow travelers according to Agoda's global 'Annoying Travel Habits' survey. Mass tour groups and selfie-takers, cited by 36% and 21% respectively, completed the top five irritants.

Chinese travelers seemingly have the highest tolerance for selfie-takers, with only 12% of Chinese respondents irritated by selfie-takers compared to Australians who are on the other end of the tolerance spectrum with nearly a third (31%) citing holiday selfie-takers as annoying.

Insensitivity to local culture nuances is more than twice as irritating for Singaporeans, (63%) Filipinos (61%) and Malaysians (60%) as it is for Chinese (21%) and Thai (27%) Travelers. About half of British (54%) and two-fifths of American travelers (41%) are intolerant of this habit.

Mobile device addiction

Almost half (47%) of the global respondents cited travelers spending too much time on their mobile devices as a grievance. Compared to travelers from other countries, the Vietnamese find those glued to their devices the most annoying (59%). Thai travelers, on the other hand, have the most relaxed attitude (31%) towards constant device usage on holiday.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, solo travelers spend nearly two hours a day on their devices when on holiday (117 minutes) -- which is 15% more time than when they are traveling with friends (100 minutes) and 26% more time than if they are with family (86 minutes). Americans are the only exception to this trend and on average spend less time on their devices when traveling solo (62 minutes) than when they are with family (66 minutes) or friends (86 minutes).

Brits are the most engaged travelers when traveling together, limiting their screen time to just over an hour (63 minutes) a day; comparatively Thai travelers spend more than two hours a day (125 minutes) on the phone when they travel with friends or family.

To encourage travelers to pay attention and really experience new destinations without their faces in their screens, Agoda has launched a 'Selfie Fail' campaign comprising of cheeky listicles and a video montage highlighting the pitfalls of smartphone dependence. Styled in the format of 'epic fail' videos, Australian comedian Ozzyman narrates footage of real travelers getting into silly accidents and situations as a result of paying more attention to their devices than to their surroundings.

Most annoying habits ranked by American travelers:

  • Noisy travelers (53%), travelers glued to their devices (48%) and insensitivity to cultural nuances (41%) are the most annoying for American travelers
  • Men are more tolerant of noisy travelers than women (60% versus 46%)

Annoying Travel Habits’ facts by market:

Australia

  • Noisy travelers (56%), insensitivity to cultural nuances (54%) and overuse of devices (52%) are the most annoying habits for Australian travelers
  • Women (25%) are less offended by selfie-takers than men (37%)
  • Australians spend over an hour a day on their devices while traveling with family (68 minutes) and friends (80 minutes); they spend over an hour and a half (90 minutes) when traveling solo
China

  • Noisy travelers (68%), device dependence (47%) and mass tour groups (33%) are most annoying habit for Chinese travelers
  • Chinese travelers are more mindful of their device use while on family trips, only 10% admitted to spending four or more hours on their devices when traveling with family, versus 30% when going solo
Indonesia

  • Device dependence (47%), insensitivity to cultural nuances (47%) and noisy travelers (43%) are the most annoying habits for Indonesian travelers
  • Youths have the least tolerance for insensitivity to cultural nuances with half of all 18 to 24-year-old travelers citing this habit as annoying; tolerance increases with age and those most tolerant (32%) are those aged 55 or older
  • Older Indonesian travelers (55 and older) found device dependence and selfie-taking less annoying than all other age groups
Malaysia

  • Insensitivity to cultural nuances (60%), noisy travelers (56%) and being glued to devices (51%) are the most annoying habits for Malaysian travelers
  • Malaysian travelers 55 and older are the least tolerant of noisy travelers – 74% compared to survey average of 56%
  • 18 to 24-year-olds spend the most time on their devices each day (243 minutes versus 218 minutes for all respondents)
Philippines

  • Insensitivity to cultural nuances (61%), noisy travelers (59%) and peopled glued to their devices (52%) are the most annoying for Filipino travelers
  • Travelers 55 and over are the most annoyed by noisy companions (83% versus 59% survey average)
  • On family trips those aged 18 to 24 (23%) use their devices the most, admitting four hours or more a day of screen time. Older family members (55 and older) are least likely to be glued to their devices (3%)
Singapore

  • Noisy travelers (68%), insensitivity to cultural nuances (63%) and mass tour groups (49%) are the most annoying for Singaporean travelers
  • Tolerance for mass tour groups increases in age for Singaporeans with those aged 18 to 24 the most annoyed (53%) and those aged 55 or older the least annoyed (36%)
  • Singaporeans spend over an hour and a half (101 minutes) a day on their devices while traveling with family; and nearly two hours a day when traveling with friends (114 minutes) or traveling solo (110 minutes)
Thailand

  • Noisy travelers (58%), mass tour groups (41%) and travelers glued to their devices (31%) are the most annoying for Thai travelers
  • Tolerance for mass tour groups decreases with age for Thais: those ages 18 to 24 are the least annoyed (35%) and those aged 55 and older are the most annoyed (50%)
  • Thais spend over two hours a day on their devices when traveling with family (124 minutes) and friends (126 minutes)
Vietnam

  • Device dependence (59%) noisy travelers (52%) and insensitivity to cultural nuances (45%) are the most annoying for Vietnamese travelers
  • Tolerance for selfie-takers increases with age. 20% of 18 to 24-year-olds found selfie-takers the most annoying, versus only a 7% of those ages 55 and older
  • Vietnamese travelers spend more time on their devices when traveling solo (147 minutes) than when traveling with family (68 minutes) or friends (86 minutes)
United Kingdom

  • Noisy travelers (56%), insensitivity to cultural nuances (54%) travelers glued to their devices (45%) are the most annoying for British travelers
  • Tolerance for noisy companions decreases with age: 68% of those aged 55 and older found noisy travelers the most annoying, versus 47% of 18 to 24-year-olds
  • Brits spend one hour a day on their phones when traveling (around 60 minutes) with family and friends; This rises to almost an hour and a half (85 minutes) when traveling alone
United States

  • Noisy travelers (53%), travelers glued to their devices (48%) and insensitivity to cultural nuances (41%) are the most annoying for American travelers
  • Men are more tolerant of noisy travelers than women (60% versus 46%)


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