PURPOSE : Research abounds highlighting the differences between males and females when they travel. Even in business travel, these differences have been acknowledged, with suppliers and marketers spending significant money to develop and market products to accommodate them. The purpose of this study is to ascertain whether differences exist in terms of mobile application usage between male and female business travellers.
DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH : A mixed method approach is followed. An internet-based survey is distributed and in-depth interviews conducted with South African business travellers. The Mann–Whitney U-test is used to test the differences between males and females and their mobile application usage. Content analysis is used to analyse the interviews.
FINDINGS : The results show that mobile applications are perceived as more important by females than males in all the phases of the travel cycle, although most of these differences in perceived importance were not significant.
RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS : Owing to the online data-collection method and the self-selective process, the findings cannot be generalised to the global population of business travellers who use mobile applications.
PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS : The results should caution corporate organisations, travel management companies and their application developers not to spend unnecessary technological and financial resources on developing applications to accommodate differences between males and females, which might not exist. Companies should rather spend money on developing applications that will enhance and add convenience to the business traveller’s experience.
ORIGINALITY/VALUE : The main contribution of this study lies in investigating the applications market, particularly in the context of business travel. Applications focussed on specific sectors of the tourism industry, such as business travel applications, serve business travellers differently from generic travel applications. This research examines business travel-specific applications and expands the scale and scope of the enquiry, concentrating on the travellers’ view.
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Lubbe, Berendien Anna(Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, 2000-06)
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