eco Survey: 70.6 Per Cent of Germans Use Online Services on Holiday

  • 61.7 per cent of respondents use weather apps, 33.1 per cent use pedestrian navigation – translation apps are becoming increasingly popular abroad (31.3 per cent)
  • eco gives 7 tips for the safe use of online services on holiday

The holiday season is just around the corner – on 22 June 2023, North Rhine-Westphalia will be the first German federal state to start its summer holidays. During the holiday season, many Germans are also increasingly turning to online offers and solutions to plan their trip or optimally manage their time at their holiday destination. More than two out of three Germans (70.6 per cent) use online services on holiday. Weather apps are among the most popular applications, availed of by 61.7 per cent. Other popular online services include pedestrian navigation apps (33.1 per cent), translation apps (31.3 per cent), and apps and websites for excursion tips (29.7 per cent). Almost every fifth person uses apps for planning hiking tours (22.8 per cent). Just over one out of ten people (11.4 per cent) now also use their mobile phone or smartwatch to pay while on holiday. These are the results of a representative Civey survey commissioned by eco – Association of the Internet Industry at the beginning of the summer holidays in North Rhine-Westphalia.

More independence and flexibility via online applications

“Online services are enabling people to organise their holidays more independently and flexibly,” says eco’s Managing Director Alexander Rabe. “By using various online services, consumers can independently select activities that suit their personal preferences and choose the most suitable itineraries. The functions of translation apps, in particular, are increasingly breaking down language barriers between the residents and the tourists at the holiday destination. In addition to simple route directions, other factors which can also be quickly and easily accessed abroad are information on local attractions, information on restaurant prices, or details on accessibility. Holidays can therefore become more easily planned and increasingly inclusive for many people,” says Rabe.

Before the respective holiday, it is worth checking online to find which services and apps are available in the country of arrival. Depending on the holiday destination, there are interesting and location-specific guidebooks, services and guides. This allows you to explore not only the tourist destinations, but also the online offers.

However, travellers should always check their respective tariffs with their mobile phone operator, and should also check any costs outside of standard data roaming in the EU before starting their holiday. Particularly when travelling long distances, this protects you from unpleasant experiences when it comes to the monthly statement after your holiday.

Recommendations for the safe use of online applications

To ensure that the use of online services is safe, the eco Association provides seven recommendations:

  1. Only download the apps and programmes you wish to use on holiday from official sources – either directly from the provider or from verified app stores such as the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
  2. Restrict the access of apps used on holiday to your personal data. For example, a hiking app does not necessarily need access to your contacts.
  3. Activate automated updates for your apps and programmes to keep them up to date at all times. If access rights have been altered by the updates, then reduce them again to the required minimum, if necessary.
  4. When transferring personal data on holiday, avoid public WiFi – or alternatively use a VPN connection that encrypts your data transfer.
  5. Check whether you can use individual apps – for example, for pedestrian navigation – offline by downloading maps. Then the functions are also available to you if you have no Internet on hikes or would like to avoid additional costs in non-European countries.
  6. Applications and apps that you have not used for more than a year – for example, because you have installed several weather apps – should be uninstalled for security reasons.
  7. Keep an eye on what data and statistics your holiday apps transfer to the developer and to third parties – and restrict this if necessary. Information on this can be found, for example, in the privacy policy of the apps and their use.

eco Survey: 70.6 Per Cent of Germans Use Online Services on Holiday 3

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eco Survey: 70.6 Per Cent of Germans Use Online Services on Holiday 2