U.S. Consumers Increasingly Rely on Smartphones to Book Travel

by Barbara Peterson
U.S. Consumers Increasingly Rely on Smartphones to Book Travel

While 61 percent of U.S. travelers book and pay for their trips using their smartphones, nearly 100 percent of consumers in China do the same. Photo: Shutterstock


U.S. travelers are growing more dependent on their smartphones for all aspects of travel, with 61 percent of consumers in the U.S. booking and paying for their trips through mobile devices in the past year, according to a new survey from Travelport.

The poll, released at the recent Phocuswright travel technology conference in Los Angeles, also showed that 62 percent of those surveyed use social media posts from friends and family to research leisure trips, and 32 percent use them to share post-trip feedback.

Travelport’s 16,000 travelers in 25 countries. And, while the U.S. results show a strong trend towards increased reliance on mobile devices, other parts of the world – notably China and India – are even more wedded to their smartphones, with nearly 100 percent of survey respondents in China reporting they use mobile devices to book travel, according to the company.

Simon Ferguson, president and managing director of Travelport Americas, noted that U.S. consumers also are “rapidly embracing” new travel technologies like Touch IT for payments and voice search. “Our research highlights a clear opportunity to engage U.S. travelers with enhanced features on mobile apps,” he said.  

Full-service travel agencies should not view the emergence of these technologies as a threat, but, rather, as an opportunity, Ferguson told Travel Market Report. Agencies are increasingly giving clients the ability to stay in touch during their travels via social media, or through an app on their mobile devices, he pointed out.  Almost half of travelers surveyed from the U.S. said they would like to be able to live chat with a travel representative during their journeys, he noted.

Among the key findings, Ferguson said:

  • 61 percent of travelers in the U.S. have booked and paid for travel through their smartphone within the past year, and 64 percent use their smartphones en route to their destination.
  • S. leisure travelers use an average of seven or eight apps during their trip research, with maps (52 percent), weather (51 percent) and branded airlines (50 percent) topping the list.
  • The three most important features identified in their travel apps are real-time flight alerts throughout their journeys (65 percent); being able to see an entire trip itinerary in one place (64 percent); and the ability to search and book flights (63 percent).

Customers also want to use their devices to add extras on the trip; and increasingly want to be able to pay using Apple/Android pay (Touch ID) within their travel apps, the survey showed.

  3
  0
Tip of the Day

As travel advisors, we have to be curious. Curiosity leads to impactful connections that pave our road to success. - Jenn Lee, VP of Sales and Marketing, Travel Planners International

Daily Top List

Top Tips for Your Blog

1. focus on the big picture and long-term ROI.

2. Be consistent with your posts.

3. Get your team or ICs involved.

Source: TMR

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
How Facial Recognition Technology is Being Used at Airports
How Facial Recognition Technology is Being Used at Airports

The increased use of facial recognition technology at airports is raising serious concerns about privacy and security for the traveling public.

AAA Predicts Record-Breaking 48.9 Million Americans Will Travel on July 4th
AAA Predicts Record-Breaking 48.9 Million Americans Will Travel on July 4th

Nearly 2 million more travelers than last year are expected to plan trips for Independence Day this year, which could lead to record-high delays.

State Department Advisory for Dominican Republic Remains the Same
State Department Advisory for Dominican Republic Remains the Same

ASTA is recommending that travel advisors leave the decision whether or not to travel there to the individual traveler.

Cruise Ship Collision Halts Traffic At Venice Canal
Cruise Ship Collision Halts Traffic At Venice Canal

The incident sent onlookers running from the scene, but only minor injuries were sustained.

U.S. State Department Now Requiring Social Media Details from Visa Applicants
U.S. State Department Now Requiring Social Media Details from Visa Applicants

The rule is expected to impact about 14 million nonimmigrant visa applicants per year.

Rescuers Search for Missing After Danube Boat Collision
Rescuers Search for Missing After Danube Boat Collision

The collision, just outside of Budapest, involved one river cruise ship and one, smaller, sightseeing boat.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards & Outlooks