Friday, May 27, 2016
Huge Increase In Travellers Using Mobiles For Their Holidays Google reports a 50% increase in visitors using mobiles to plan and book their holidays. Some travel sites are slow to catch on to this growth in mobile usage.
Travellers are increasingly turning to their mobiles to help them plan and book their holidays. Whether looking for a short break, single trip, summer holiday or honeymoon, there has been a significant upturn in users who are choosing to browse for flights, accommodation and destination research using their mobiles.
Travel Sites Performing Well On Mobile
In the United States, it is now estimated that 70% of all online travel bookings will be made on a mobile device by 2019. Popular travel sites such as Tripadvisor are now seeing over half of their annual traffic coming from mobile searches. In 2015, the tourist review site received more than 55% of its total US traffic from mobile devices. Similarly Expedia received around 50% of its total traffic from mobile searches and Southwest.com totalled around 51% from mobile site visits.
One of the things holding other travel sites back from performing as well with visitors is a lack of user engagement. Travel companies need to focus on how best to encourage users into converting their site visit into a lead or sale. This might be anything from browsing for a particular destination, to entering travel dates or even booking a flight or hotel.
Some travel sites haven’t spent much time in the creation of an engaging platform for mobile. Instead, they simply deliver a replica of their own desktop site and have it resized to fit a mobile or tablet screen. Unfortunately, a lack of testing means that users have problems with scrolling, reading minute text or clicking into boxes that weren’t designed with a touch-screen in mind. On the other hand, travel companies that have invested in their own branded app are able to compete more effectively against other travel sites by keeping visitors within their own platform.
Those that choose not to invest in such innovations could find that frustrated users click out of their token effort of a mobile site onto a competitor platform that is equipped with better navigation features.
Destinations On Google
As you might expect, it has not escaped the notice of Google that travellers are enjoying surfing from their mobile devices. In fact in 2015, Google.com noted a 50% surge in travel-related questions that were typed into mobile phone browsers.
In response to this recent increase in mobile activity, the search engine giant has launched its own travel brochure style of service called Destinations On Google. Users who wish to look at travel-related information for the city of Barcelona for instance, should use their mobile to type ‘Barcelona Destination’ into Google. This will launch ‘Destinations On Google’ which provides a comprehensive overview of the location. Clicking on ‘Plan a trip’ will then deliver details on popular flight routes complete with price information and of course options for accommodation. For those who aren’t sure yet of their exact vacation spot, it is possible to search for a particular style of holiday such as ‘New Zealand Hiking’ or ‘Colorado Skiing’ followed by the word ‘destination’.
If you’ve been inspired to start planning your next holiday, there’s no need to visit your local high street travel agent these days. Wherever you are, simply take out your mobile phone and start planning your next dream trip.
Laura Reeve is the Marketing Executive at Avanti Travel Insurance, who specialise in travel insurance for those with pre-existing medical conditions, and are one of very few that have no upper age limit on their policies.
License: Image author owned
License: Image author owned