Globally, travellers are attached to their mobiles, with 91 per cent saying they use their smartphones on holiday. One in three (37 per cent) use their smartphone to find things to do, and just over a quarter (27 per cent) are searching for hotels. Despite the increasing number of travellers using their mobile to plan and research, the trend has not yet crossed over to the booking stage.
Sixty-six per cent of travellers booked their last trip online, with 31 per cent stating ‘better price’ as the reason for choosing this booking method. 24 per cent booked offline, whilst online bookings are commonplace, mobile bookings are emerging slowly. Just four per cent of travellers globally booked the accommodation for their last trip via mobile, however China is leading the pack with 10 per cent of Chinese booking via mobile, followed closely by Thailand (nine per cent), and Indonesia and Malaysia (seven per cent). This behaviour implies a ‘leapfrogging’ from offline to mobile channels in Asian markets, with travellers in this region more likely than others to have booked their last trip either via mobile (six per cent) or offline (27 per cent).
Travellers who booked their last holiday via mobile are also the most likely to state that a good deal or special offer always determines their destination choice (20 per cent), more so than respondents who used any other booking channel.
Three in four hoteliers (76 per cent) already have a mobile offering for travellers in place, and of those who don’t, 50 per cent plan to introduce a mobile offering in 2014. Almost half (45 per cent) allow guests to book rooms via their website on a mobile device, and 38 per cent have a mobile friendly website. While it seems as though the hospitality industry is prepared for a shift towards mobile booking for travellers, there is still a disconnect.
Marc Charron, president, TripAdvisor for Business, said, “While the importance of mobile is accepted by travel industry, and as evidenced by travellers using their smartphones in increasing numbers while in destination, there is still a tremendous opportunity when it comes to booking,. Hotels are gearing up to welcome bookings via mobile and travellers are already researching hotels on their phones – the next step is facilitating the booking process on mobile devices to reach more people on the go.”