95% of EMEA holidaymakers stay connected
Brocade says that most people carry at least one connected device on vacation with them
Ninety-five percent of EMEA holidaymakers take at least one internet enabled device along with them on holiday and are not prepared to switch off from emails, online entertainment or social media, according to new research from Brocade.
Fifty percent of those surveyed by Brocade plan to access the internet at least once a day while on holiday and more than 40% actively seek destinations that offer always-on connectivity. This places a burden on service providers and leisure facilities to ensure that they have good coverage in even the most remote of locations.
A quarter of EMEA holiday-makers reported that they have accessed content from the beach, and, amazingly, 4% have found time to log on in the jungle.
"The findings just go to show that in 2011, we are hugely connected, no matter what we are doing, and we fully expect to be able to get online from anywhere in the world," said Alberto Soto, VP EMEA at Brocade. "With nearly half of the people we spoke to relying on connectivity to stream audio or video files while on holiday to enhance their relaxation time, businesses need to consider what the modern traveller wants. Whether it's a hotel or beach bar, failure to deliver online services could not only damage brand equity but also jeopardise the bottom line."
Internet penetration in the Middle East stands at 31.7%, just more than half the figure found in Europe, which far exceeds the global average at 67% and higher than the global average of 27%. User growth in the Middle East has grown a massive 1,987% since 2000.
Due to the constant demand for internet access, smartphone sales have soared in recent years; IDC states that smartphone sales more than doubled year-over-year in the first three months of 2011, with almost 100 million devices sold.
According to the research, typical EMEA holidaymakers take at the very least a laptop, tablet or smartphone with them on their vacation and the majority of respondents rely on these devices to stay in touch with friends and family at home.
Forty percent of those polled freely admit that they cannot be separated from their social media tools.
Nearly one third of respondents use their devices on holiday for work, checking e-mails, downloading documents or making themselves available to customers and co-workers.
Sixty percent admit that this causes friction with their friends and family on holiday.
"Whether it's from a tablet on the beach or from a smartphone on a boat, our research has highlighted the consumers' thirst for content. How to quench that thirst is a challenge, but the ability to deliver always-on connectivity comes down to a high-performance and ultra-reliable network that has the attributes of the networks deployed inside of data centres," said Soto.
Of the respondents, 84% relied on smartphones while on holiday, favouring ultra-portable devices over bulkier devices, such as laptops
Half of those surveyed continued to use their devices abroad just as if they were at home, with more than three quarters regularly downloading personal e-mail and 48% accessing work e-mail/documents.
Only 7% of the total polled never accessed the internet while on holiday
"Our ‘The Data Centre Is Here' corporate campaign highlights how modern networks need to extend across physical boundaries and enable a common user experience wherever data is accessed, including holidaymakers who are accessing internet content on their various devices. Therefore it's important that the leisure industry and service providers ensure they don't miss this opportunity to prosper," said Soto.