Mobile Travel Bookings Catch On at Destination Level

Source: eMarketer, Dec. 18, 2012

Air and hotel bookings are still PC-centric

Travel marketers are flocking to develop mobile solutions as more and more of their customers carry around smartphones and tablets. The travel business is highly focused on mobile bookings, but research shows that many consumers are still not ready to make large travel purchases via mobile devices.

Expedia Media Solutions and comScore conducted “The Rise of Mobile: Adoption, Sentiment & Opportunity” study in August 2012, and found that more than three-quarters of US travelers had purchased travel on a PC in the past six months. On mobile devices, travelers who had made other product purchases on their mobile devices were much more hesitant to book travel: Only 34% had booked travel through their tablet in that timeframe, and 28% had booked via smartphone.

Breaking down these purchases by travel category, the Expedia and comScore study also found that more than half of these US travelers purchased hotel reservations via laptop, while only 17% booked hotels via tablet, and 11% via smartphone. Likewise, 46% of air travelers purchased flights on their PC, but only about one in 10 used either tablets or smartphones to buy airfare in the past six months.

These bigger travel buys via mobile devices trail PC purchases by a wide margin; however, travelers were about as likely to make in-destination travel bookings—such as attractions, activities and restaurants—through tablets or smartphones as through a computer. Notably, a minimum of about one in 10 travelers used mobile devices for nearly all types of travel bookings, regardless of price.

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