An increased use of mobile devices in consumer travel planning and purchasing worldwide is revealed in a new report out today (Wednesday).
The Travel Flash report by performance advertising technology firm Criteo represents the activity of more than 1,000 travel websites worldwide in the first half of 2014.
It found that mobile bookings are growing faster than desktop – 20% versus 2% over the first six months of 2014 – with smartphones and tablets accounting for 21% of hotel bookings.
The value of mobile bookings is increasing in every area except for accommodation. The average booking value was 21% for air travel and 13% higher for car rentals, but 30% lower for hotel bookings on mobile devices than desktop.
Peer-to-peer apartment rentals is the category with highest mobile penetration, at 34% globally.
In-app bookings account for 12% of total mobile bookings.
An average of $600 more is spent on packages booked on the iPad compared to those booked via any Android device. However, the value of Android bookings for flights outpaces all other mobile devices, according to the study.
Online travel agencies’ bookings climbed by 50% throughout the period in Europe and the US, but the value of those bookings falls by 19%.
For hotel suppliers, the booking numbers remained stable throughout the first half of 2014, with peaks in value in February and June.
Criteo mobile product vice president Jason Morse said: “Mobile is the driving force behind the exponential growth in online travel booking and sales, and that’s only set to continue in the second half of this year and beyond.
“With smart phones and tablets in nearly every consumer’s hands today, travel marketers need to think strategically about developing a highly effective omni-channel marketing experience.
“That means ensuring the entire consumer experience – from the ads to shopping carts – is mobile optimised.
“Determining budget across desktop and mobile must be completely fluid because consumers are making decisions in real-time, requiring that the booking experience be streamlined and integrated with mobile-friendly payment systems to ease the all-important path to purchase.”