Growing adoption of smartphone technology by Kiwi children is influencing the travel decisions of Kiwi families according to a local travel specialist.
House of Travel owner operator Hemal Jani says kids are using Apple or Android apps to research the destinations they’d most like to travel to and sharing this with their parents.
“New technology has changed the way kids approach a holiday," he says. "Along with the apps, they are using social media to gather information on the best places to holiday."
It’s not just the destination they’re researching either says Jani, kids are also researching hotels and the surrounds along with activities to do while there, he says.
Jani sites examples from his Mt Eden agency where well connected children have reviewed destinations in detail and come armed with their preferences when they visit a travel agent.
“We recently had a client who wanted an airfare to London, her teenage daughters were very specific on which airline they would like to fly having researched the airlines on their devices and had talked to their friends on social media," he adds.
“There was also a father who was taking his two kids to Hawaii, with the children having already decided on what hotel they wanted to stay at as it had the biggest pool and the most games.
"They had specifically outlined where they wanted to sightsee and were well versed in the activities they wanted to do, including where to surf and shop.”
Jani says that children often have more time on their hands to research travel itineraries and contribute to the planning process.
He says families appear to be more adventurous in their travel choice and it’s the responsibility of the travel industry to keep up with technology advances and with the needs of the current generation.