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US Hispanics have been on the leading edge of mobile adoption, and eMarketer estimates that 25.6 million Hispanics—46.9% of this demographic group—will be using smartphones by the end of 2013, representing the second-highest penetration rate among all US races/ethnicities. Only US Asians boast a higher smartphone penetration rate. And in terms of sheer numbers, Hispanic smartphone users outnumber Asian smartphone users by more than three to one, making Hispanics an extremely important mobile-enabled demographic.
These consumers’ penchant for mobile usage relates directly to their travel booking habits. According to an April 2013 study from Social Lens Research and mobile gaming company MocoSpace, nearly 24% of US Hispanic travelers “almost always” used their mobile phones to search for a hotel before traveling. Approximately one in six “almost always” booked hotels via the mobile internet before heading out on vacation, and nearly one in seven said they purchased hotel rooms pre-trip through a mobile app.
Hispanic travelers are heavy mobile users during travel as well, and 25% or more of the respondents to the Social Lens Research and MocoSpace survey said they sought places to eat, stay, shop and entertain themselves while they were on their trips.
Because of their propensity to stay connected on the move, Hispanic travelers are interested in contextual mobile advertising. Approximately one-third of respondents to the survey said texts with location-based details were “very useful,” and almost 40% found them “somewhat” useful. At the same time, nearly one-quarter of respondents thoroughly appreciated mobile ads with local deals, while 36% saw them as “somewhat” useful.
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