European holidaymakers still depend on printed travel documents

London, 07 July, 2015 – With the European summer holiday season about to start, Canon Europe, world-leader in imaging solutions, today reveals that despite 92% consumers researching holidays online, and a further 82% booking accommodation and 77% booking travel using the internet, an astonishing 93% of European holidaymakers still print out travel documents according to new European research.

  • 93% rely on printed travel documents, despite researching and booking online
  • Canon study aims to identify how brands can add value to improve customer experience

The European research found that 71% consumers print out travel documents as a precautionary measure to overcome any technological issues or potential mix-ups further down the line, while more than half (51%) do so out of habit. According to the findings, German (75%) and British travellers (74%) are the most likely to print out travel documents ‘just-in-case’.

Of those who do print out travel documents, 87% refer to them over the course of their trip. However, over half of all respondents (57%) choose to turn to social media and the web to source information on their destination while travelling, and just 10% actually use the information provided by their booking source (i.e. online travel agencies, booking operators etc.).

Marc Ranner, Marketing Director at Canon Europe, said: “It’s clear that whilst European travellers have embraced digital for researching, comparing prices and booking holidays, they are still very dependent on printed travel documents. Whether or not this is because of a lack of trust in the electronic systems used by travel operators, or their own personal technology, there is a strong appetite for tangible printed documents as a reliable reference.”

When asked what information holiday makers want readily available when travelling, the top five included: the address of the final destination (67%), a map of the destination (51%), directions to where they are staying (42%), public transportation directions to destination (31%) and key local addresses and numbers (28%).

Ranner continues: “The message to travel companies is clear; printed travel documents are still incredibly important to holidaymakers but the information they contain could be far more useful. Rather than only providing details specific to the bookings or using whitespace to deliver targeted banner ads that are often disregarded, businesses can add value to printed travel documents to extend and improve their customers’ experience, not just by giving them the information they need, but also the details they actually want to hand in a user and print friendly way, reducing the need for them to rely on the internet while abroad.

There is also an opportunity to fuse together the benefits of the internet with the reliability of print. Using selectable or customisable online documents that allow consumers to print out what’s relevant to them is a level of personalisation that demonstrates an understanding of customer needs and shows that they are at the heart of your business.”

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