Study Snapshot: Mobile Search of Growing Importance in Travel Marketing

A recent study of general consumer behaviour by Google with Ipsos OTX found that 71% of smartphone users carried out a search because they had seen an ad either off or line, while 74% of offline shoppers make a purchase as a result of using their smartphones (presumably researching as they wander about).

In the hospitality front, according to Google, 19% of all hotel queries in search are being conducted on mobile devices, supporting the idea that mobile is now more important than ever in travel marketing.

For the travel and tourism sector, some interesting data from the study points to the importance of localisation in search.

Searching for local details is carried out by almost all smartphone users (95%), but most interestingly 88% of those searching for local information “take action” within a day, presumably to visit a website or an actual venue.

Furthermore, 77% have conducted a business after using mobile search for local information, with 61% calling and 59% visiting the premises of a local business.

The stat also backs recent data from eMarketer which suggested the number of US consumers, for example, using a mobile to research travel products will climb from 19.7 million in 2010 to 29.7 million by next year.

Despite Google’s potential ulterior motive, such data is pretty compelling and travel companies are being urged to consider mobile in the same way as perhaps they interact with consumers on the web-based journey:

  • Dreaming
  • Research
  • Booking
  • Experiencing
  • Sharing

As far as mobile travel content is concerned a global survey of 1700 people carried out by Frommer’s, revealed the top six types of mobile travel content that consumers want when on holiday.

The most important function is seeing points of interest like attractions, restaurants and shops on a map (57%), followed by key phrases in local languages (55%), local offers (51%), itineraries and walking tours (50%), local etiquette and customs (49%) and tipping and currency converters (45%).

Interestingly, the 18-34 age bracket expressed an increased interest in accessing information related to local etiquette and customs and it ranked as the third most important type of content for this age group.


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