Mobile now more popular than desktop among travelers planning their next trip

Andy Boxall

In App Business. May 18, 2016

expedia comscore

Travelers in the UK are using mobile more than desktop machines to plan their next trip, but browsers rather than dedicated apps are the primary way they do so. The data comes from an Expedia study on how British travelers plan a future journey using online and offline sources. In conjunction with ComScore, Expedia showed a 45% rise in engagement with digital content over the past year, reaching 2.4 billion minutes. Mobile devices were responsible for a billion of them, a massive 82% increase over last year.

More than a billion minutes spent researching travel on mobile

mobile minutes expedia

Mobile has overtaken desktop use as the way most people engage with travel content, with 28 million turning to their smartphones and tablets, compared to around 25 million on the desktop. However, 49% of users will turn to multiple devices, and only 28% stick with a mobile device. This is a considerable difference over last year, when 34% chose multiple platforms.

Tablets more widely used than smartphones

mobile expedia

The research also shows that tablet owners are more fond of researching travel, with 63% of owners doing so, compared to around 50% of smartphone owners. Tablet owners almost exclusively used the browser, with 92% choosing it over an app. It’s a more even split on a phone though, with 53% choosing the browser and 47% an app. Overall, 64% of mobile device owners use the browser, leaving 36% using an app.

Mobile more widely used than desktop

mobile engage expedia

Examining browser and app usage broken down into minutes spent, online travel agents are mostly read through the browser, and elsewhere in the report these are listed as the most influential online travel resource, just behind family and friends. Apps fought back when it came to finding travel information, and in the cruise category.

Browsers more popular than dedicated travel apps

travel apps browsers expedia

The report concludes that, “content consumption on mobile is outpacing desktop, and consumers in general are moving fluidly across devices. The UK digital travel industry is seeing incredible reach and explosive growth in travel content engagement across both desktop and mobile.”

See Expedia’s complete British Traveler’s Path to Purchase report here.