June 30, 2015

TripAdvisor Study Reveals 42% of Travelers Worldwide Use Smartphones to Plan or Book Their Trips

Global "TripBarometer Connected Traveler" Report Uncovers Booking Trends and Behaviors of Smartphone-Engaged Consumers

Thailand and China Top List of World's Most Connected Travelers, U.S. Ranks #8

NEWTON, Mass., June 30, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mobile usage is on the rise throughout the entire traveler journey and more are using their smartphones to book parts of their travel, according to the TripBarometer Connected Traveler¹ report released today by TripAdvisor. The report defines "Connected Travelers" as those who have used a smartphone to plan or book a trip and offers an in-depth insight into their habits and behaviors. The study was conducted by independent research firm Ipsos and reported on more than 44,000 global responses from travelers and the hotel sector.

Key findings:

  • 42 percent of travelers around the world are Connected Travelers, having used a smartphone to plan or book a trip
  • Connected Travelers are twice as likely as all other travelers to make travel-related bookings via a mobile device: 12 percent of Connected Travelers booked their accommodation via a smartphone, as compared to 6 percent of travelers overall
  • Almost half (45 percent) of Connected Travelers say they "usually" use their smartphones to book activities for a trip
  • Almost three quarters (72 percent) of Connected Travelers use their smartphones to look for restaurants while on vacation
  • 34 percent of Connected Travelers want their accommodation to offer mobile check-in

Top 10 Most "Connected" Countries

Nations surveyed with the greatest number of Connected Travelers:

Thailand (#1) and China (#2) lead the world with the most Connected Travelers, while the U.S. ranks #8. Just under half of U.S. travelers (48 percent) fall into the Connected Traveler group.

  1. Thailand - 65%
  2. China - 65%
  3. Brazil - 59%
  4. Indonesia - 59%
  5. Malaysia - 53%
  6. Spain - 52%
  7. Italy - 49%
  8. U.S. - 48%
  9. India - 47%
  10. Australia - 47%

Emerging markets have a large number of Connected Travelers - nearly half (49 percent) of Asians fall into the Connected Traveler group and this is particularly driven by travelers in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and China. South America has the highest proportion of Connected Travelers with 57 percent followed by the Middle East (55 percent).

"The TripBarometer Connected Traveler report uncovers key emerging trends among a growing group of influential travelers using mobile devices to plan and book their trips," said Adam Medros, senior vice president of global product, TripAdvisor. "While booking travel via mobile is ultimately on the rise for all types of travelers, Connected Travelers are far more likely to see their smartphones as a booking device, both before a trip and while in-destination. Through travel apps, Connected Travelers are also finding their way around, looking for places to eat or things to do and reading reviews to make the best choice."

Mobile Bookings on the Rise

The smartphone is the second most popular booking device after laptops for travel activities:

  • 45 percent of Connected Travelers say they use their smartphone to book activities for their trip, while 55 percent say they use a laptop
  • 28 percent of travelers overall use their smartphone to book things to do before a trip

Mobile apps are becoming more popular as a booking channel:

  • The number of people using mobile apps to book their accommodation has doubled year-over-year
  • 8 percent of all respondents booked their accommodation using a mobile app channel, up from 4 percent in 2014; whereas 11 percent of Connected Travelers book accommodations via mobile
  • Among Connected Travelers who book via mobile, 24 percent say they "usually" book this way
  • 20 percent of Connected Travelers say they booked via a mobile app because it was easier or faster to access and 29 percent felt they got a better price

Smartphones Have Become the Essential Trip Companion

Connected Travelers are more likely to want their smartphones with them on vacation to organize their trip more efficiently (44 percent) and book accommodation on the go (37 percent). They are also more likely than the average traveler to use their smartphone for travel research while in their destination: 72 percent of Connected Travelers use their mobile to look for restaurants, 67 percent use it to find things to do and 64 percent use it to read reviews.

How Mobile is Used on
Connected TravelersAll Travelers
Finding my way around/maps 81% 67%
Looking for restaurants 72% 56%
Looking for things to do 67% 51%
Reading reviews 64% 47%
Looking for hotels 50% 36%
Making restaurant reservations 46% 36%

¹Methodology: The TripBarometer study, by TripAdvisor, is based upon an online survey conducted from January 16 to February 2. 2015, conducted by Ipsos, a global research firm. A total of 44,277 interviews were completed in 32 markets, spanning 7 regions. The sample is made up of 34,016 consumers who are TripAdvisor website users and Ipsos online panelists who chose to take part in the survey and have researched their travel plans online in the last year; and 10,261 representatives from accommodation properties who use TripAdvisor free marketing services, making it the world's largest combined accommodation and traveler survey. The consumer survey data is weighted to represent the known profile of the global online population, to keep in line with previous waves of TripBarometer. Equal weighting is also applied at country level for the business survey. For additional information about TripBarometer, please visit www.tripadvisor.com/tripbarometer and download the global report.

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site*, enabling travelers to plan and book the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers advice from millions of travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools that check hundreds of websites to find the best hotel prices. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 340 million unique monthly visitors**, and more than 225 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4.9 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 45 countries worldwide. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.

TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP) manages and operates websites under 24 other travel media brands: www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.everytrail.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.thefork.com (including www.lafourchette.com, www.eltenedor.com, www.iens.nl, www.besttables.com and www.dimmi.com.au), www.gateguru.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.jetsetter.com, www.niumba.comwww.onetime.com, www.oyster.com, www.seatguru.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.tingo.comwww.travelpod.com, www.tripbod.com, www.vacationhomerentals.com, www.viator.com, www.virtualtourist.com, and www.kuxun.cn.

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, December 2014

**Source: Google Analytics, average monthly unique users, Q1 2015

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