Half of smartphone owners use their devices when travelling or planning to travel, according to a new mobile marketing study.
The comScore Mobile Travel Advisor report found that 51 per cent of US smartphone users viewed content relating to airlines and hotels in the three months up to February 2012. Informational searches were the most popular activity with 29 per cent looking up the address of their hotel and 26 per cent checking airfare prices. However, there were also a sizeable number of transactional searches with 18 per cent booking flights and 18 per cent booking hotel rooms.
Young, male and mobile
As for the demographics of these so-called mobile travellers, the majority were young and male. Approximately 78 per cent were aged between 18 and 44 years old - compared to just 63 per cent of the entire smartphone audience. Meanwhile, 62 per cent were male - as opposed to 52 per cent of all smartphone users.
Mark Donovan, comScore's senior vice president of mobile, commented: "The on-the-go convenience of smartphones has facilitated their emergence as an essential companion for travellers. We all know how hectic a travel experience can be, but smartphones have really stepped in to meet a variety of needs for travellers, such as coordination of schedules, locations, trip itineraries and transactions."
Adrian Mursec, senior developer at theEword, was unsurprised by the findings. He said: "Smartphones can be incredibly useful for travellers because they allow people to do research and make bookings on location. The fact that so many smartphone users rely on their devices may raise a few eyebrows though. If anything, it merely serves to underline that companies in the travel and tourism sectors need to offer a quality experience for mobile users by, for example, building and optimising mobile websites."