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UK consumers are no strangers to researching and booking trips online. eMarketer estimates that there will be 28.3 million digital travel researchers in the UK this year, representing 67.0% of internet users. Among this group, 25.8 million, or 61.0% of internet users, will go on to book this way.
Based on research by comScore cited by Expedia Media Solutions, this group is increasingly mobile. Fully 10.3 million UK digital travel content visitors between December 2014 and February 2015 were mobile-only, vs. 10.0 million who relied solely on a desktop or laptop. In all, the total number of mobile visitors, including those who were mobile-only or PC and mobile users, was 25.0 million.
Results highlighted the importance of mobile-optimized browsers for UK travelers. Two-thirds of smartphone travel content visitors used only browsers, vs. 21% who were app-only and 13% who used a blend. Browsers were even more important on tablets, with 81% of visitors via such devices relying solely on sites to access travel content, vs. 10% of app-only visitors and 9% who used both.
Mobile site optimization is particularly important for airlines, hotels and resorts and online travel agencies, accounting for over three-quarters of time spent viewing each type of travel content via mobile. Travel information was the only category where apps took a higher share of time spent.
While the UK travel industry certainly can’t write off apps—the study noted that app usage led to higher engagement with travel content—providing a solid mobile browser experience is now a must.
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