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Mobile business travel application usage: Are South African men really from Mars and women from Venus?

Anneli Douglas (Department of Tourism Management, University of Pretoria – Groenkloof Campus, Pretoria, South Africa)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology

ISSN: 1757-9880

Article publication date: 19 June 2019

Issue publication date: 13 September 2019




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.


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.


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.


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.


本论文主要研究男人和女人在旅游中的行为区别。特别是在商务旅游中, 男女差别确实存在, 这也验证了供应商和营销商在开发营销产品中的针对性和区别性。本论文旨在验证是否男女商务旅游者对使用移动APP存在区别。


本论文采用混合采样方法。采样方式通过网络问卷和深度访谈, 采样群体为南非商务游客。本论文采取Mann–Whitney U检验来测试男女在移动APP使用上的区别。本论文还采取文本分析法来分析访问数据。


研究结果表明女性游客在各个旅游阶段都比男性游客对移动APP更看重, 而这些区别在统计计算上并没有获得显著效果。


由于线上采样和自助问卷的采样限制, 研究结果不能推广到全球商务旅客对于使用移动APP的态度。


研究结果可以警示企业机构、旅游管理公司、以及APP开发商不要花费不必要的科技和财力资源来迎合男女受众的需求。因为这个区别可能不存在。公司应该花费财力在开发APP上, 使得商旅客人的使用体验更加便捷。




移动设备, 性别, 商务旅行, 商务旅行周期, 商务旅客, 移动商务旅行应用



Douglas, A. (2019), "Mobile business travel application usage: Are South African men really from Mars and women from Venus?", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 269-285.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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