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Survey Results: Small Travel Businesses & Technology

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Assistant Editor’s Note: This blog post by Christina Heyniger, of Vital Wave Consulting and, about a survey done on the ATTA Membership, was originally published on her blog and is posted here with her permission. Stay tuned for more info on the results.

This spring I’ve been working with Derek Jirachaikitti and Stacy Magdaluyo,  two masters degree students from the University of San Diego’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies program on a study of small travel businesses and their use of technology.

The results are in!  We surveyed the small business membership of the Adventure Travel Trade Association and received 350 responses from businesses around the globe.

Here are some of our findings, which we’ll be editorializing on in more depth in the coming weeks.

  • 24% use internet-based applications for reservations and booking
  • 37% use applications such as Gmail
  • 40% use website analytics
  • 62% use smart phones

Key issues cited as barriers to using technology were capital and manpower.

The prevalence of smart phones, especially among companies operating in developing countries where data plans often discourage usage, surprised me.  The findings about the use of Internet applications for business operations such as reservations were about what we expected; it’s no secret that the travel sector lags in this regard.

For all the disruptive travel technology startups out there, the point is being driven home as Derek noted:  any new technology created for the small and medium size tour operator market will have to be (1) inexpensive for both initial purchase and for any future upgrades (2) easy to learn and operate with limited knowledge of information technology (3) not require the use of extensive manpower or new and expensive equipment.

We’ll be working up a more extensive analysis so stay tuned.  If you have specific questions or interests in this area, please post a note and we’ll try to answer your questions.

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