Smartphone owners are using their devices for a range of activities from reading email to performing in-store research, so it may not be a surprise that a majority are now accessing travel-related content on their devices, according to April 2012 comScore figures. Indeed, 51% of smartphone owners accessed air and/or hotel information on their devices in the 3-month period ending February 2012, says comScore, with 4 in 5 of these mobile travelers accessing both types of content. In terms of air travel-related content, checking airfare prices was the leading activity, conducted by 26% of the total smartphone audience. Closely following were looking up an airline phone number, looking at flight schedules, and checking a flight status, each of which was performed by one-quarter of the smartphone-owning population. Other popular activities included looking up airport information (24%), checking in for a flight (21%), receiving price alerts for flights (19%), booking a flight (18%), and receiving SMS alerts for a flight status (18%).
The comScore data shows that among hotel-related mobile activities, looking up hotel addresses and directions was the most common, performed by 29% of the smartphone audience. 23% looked up or researched attractions and things to do at their destination or near their hotel, closely followed by the proportion who looked up or researched places to eat at their destination or their hotel, or read a hotel review (each at 22%). Roughly 1 in 5 used their device to compare hotel prices and availability, while 18% booked a hotel room.
Looking at the demographic profile of the smartphone travel user, the study finds that although males make up 52% of the smartphone audience, they account for 62% of the smartphone travel audience. Females, by contrast, make up just 38% of the smartphone travel audience, compared to 48% of the total smartphone audience.
78% of the smartphone travelers were aged 18-44, while they comprised 63% of the total smartphone audience. There was less discrepancy in income levels, with roughly half of each audience earning at least $75,000 annually.
Meanwhile, according to Lab42 survey results released in March 2012, social media users are also active consumers of travel content on mobile devices. 30% said they have used mobile applications to find hotel deals, while 29% have used mobile apps to find flight deals. In addition, 15% reported downloading mobile apps specific to upcoming vacations. The survey also found that while traveling domestically, the top 5 uses of a smartphone were to take photos, use the map features, search restaurants, search activities and attractions, and check in prior to flight.
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