Happy Holidays: Many Canadians remain glued to their smartphones while they are on vacation

  • Social Gloaters – 36 per cent of Canadian travellers admit to uploading photos to social media to show off
  • Tasty Food Over Tourist Attractions – Restaurants most searched for content on vacation
  • Facebook Face-Off – Facebook is the favourite social network of Canadians with 2 per cent so competitive they check their travel buddy’s posts to make sure theirs are better
  • Live like a local – Almost 50 per cent of travellers use mobile maps to get around and many rely on mobiles to learn the local lingo


TORONTO – July 5, 2016:  With summer season just around the corner, Canadians conjure up the images of spending hours relaxing around a hotel pool or exploring the sights and attractions of a new city. The reality however is that most of them will cut into their sightseeing and sunbathing time to spend an average of close to two and half hours a day showing off for their friends on social media channels and more than 1 in 10 will spend over five hours a day on their social feeds.

Those numbers are among the many fascinating findings from the Hotels.com™ Mobile Travel Tracker, a global study of the mobile technology habits of 9,200 travelers across 31 countries.

Canadian travellers use social media to show off

We’re a bunch of social media show offs, as 36 per cent of Canadian travellers admit to uploading photos to social media just to show off and 20 per cent admit to checking into places on social media just to make friends jealous.

Even when we should be relaxing and enjoying ourselves on vacation, we still have a real case of FOMO (fear of missing out) – a quarter (25 per cent) say they comment on friends’ posts just so they don’t miss out on anything out while they’re away.

The social channels we use most while away are:

  1. Facebook (78 per cent)
  2. YouTube (29 per cent)
  3. Twitter (22 per cent)
  4. Instagram (20 per cent)
  5. Skype (18 per cent)

Canadian travellers are always thinking about their next meal

37 per cent of Canadians admitted that their mobile device was their primary source of information while away. When it comes to the content we’re searching for, it’s a case of tasty food before top attractions, as restaurants and food markets are the most popular searches (60 per cent). We’re a generation of foodie travellers, with twice as many people searching to find the best restaurant than the best beach.

The most popular content we search for while away:

  1. Restaurants and food markets – 60 per cent
  2. Tourist Attractions – 52 per cent
  3. Maps and Directions – 42 per cent
  4. Local Beaches – 30 per cent
  5. Museums and Art Galleries – 29 per cent

Canadians are app happy when they’re on vacation

28 per cent of people only select a hotel if it offers free wi-fi, so being connected is important to today’s modern traveller. It seems when it comes to our app behavior, we’re either posting on Instagram, getting lost in a destination or messaging people to say we’re having the time of our life. The top five app categories Canadians use while travelling are:

  1. Social Media (53 per cent)
  2. Messaging (43 per cent)
  3. Mapping (33 per cent)
  4. Photography (29 per cent)
  5. Travel (29 per cent)

For a cheeky few, being away doesn’t take them away from the dating game, as 3 per cent of Canadians have admitted to using dating apps while travelling.

Technology lets travellers live like locals

The smartphone is the ultimate travel companion. It acts as your map, your room key, your concierge and even your translator. Travellers can practically live like locals thanks to technology, as almost half of Canadians (42 per cent) use the map features on their smartphones to get around and 13 per cent have used it to translate local words or phrases.

Canadians are becoming techy travellers


Canada’s early adopters are embracing the latest in mobile technology developments, with 8 per cent having checked into their hotel through their mobile device and 2 per cent having used their smartphone as a room key. Rather than popping down to the lobby, a tech-savvy 8 per cent of travellers have even used mobile to contact their hotel while in resort and 1 per cent have tried out a mobile concierge service.

Dan Craig, Senior Director of Mobile at Hotels.com brand said: “For travellers the mobile effect begins with booking, as 42 per cent of people in our study have booked a hotel on mobile. It’s therefore no surprise that today’s modern tourist is so reliant on their smartphone, and as technology is advancing it’s becoming a more indispensable travel companion.

“Our study shows that some travellers, especially millennials, spend more time looking at their screens than enjoying the sun or the sights. However, most travellers are actually using their device to search for local restaurants, to help them get around and importantly stay connected with the rest of the world. Only 40 per cent of people might have admitted to uploading photos to social media to make friends jealous but we all know you’ve definitely Instagrammed a holiday selfie to show off!”

The Hotels.com mobile app is available for IOS, Android and Amazon Kindle devices, and already has over 50 million downloads worldwide.

Please visit mobiletraveltracker.hotels.com for more insights from the Hotels.com Mobile Travel Tracker.

Mobile developments at Hotels.com:

  • Uber Integration – this month Hotels.com integrated Uber into its Android app. Available in 30 languages, it enables customers to book an Uber to take them directly to their hotel at the touch of a button.
  • Apple Pay – Hotels.com has gone live with Apple Pay in the U.S. and is working on rolling this out globally.
  • In-Stay Mobile Features – Hotels.com is continually evolving its in-stay mobile experience and some exciting new features will be revealed in the coming months.

Notes to Editor 

*9,200 adults from 31 countries were polled by One Poll, commissioned by Hotels.com in May 2016

About Hotels.com

Hotels.com, L.P. operates Hotels.com (also known in Canada as Hotels.ca), a leading online accommodation booking website with properties ranging from international chains and all-inclusive resorts to local favourites and bed & breakfasts, together with all the information needed to book the perfect stay. Special apps for mobile phones and tablets can also be downloaded enabling customers to book on the go with access to 20,000 last minute deals.

© 2016 Hotels.com, LP. Hotels.com, The Obvious Choice, Mobile Travel Tracker and the Hotels.com logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Hotels.com, LP in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Media Contacts:

Somya Anand

energiPR for Hotels.com in Canada

Phone: (416) 425-9143 x 19

Email: somya.anand@energipr.com

Emily Zazado

Hotels.com brand in Canada

Phone: (469) 335-1131

Email: emzazado@hotels.com