Most Travelers Use Search Engines When Planning a Trip - eMarketer

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Most Travelers Use Search Engines When Planning a Trip

They’re also using mobile, and will continue to

March 24, 2016

Americans may not mind booking accommodations and airfare on small screens, but search engines are where many leisure travelers in North America turn to when beginning to research a trip, according to Q1 2016 research.

Sources Used When Beginning to Research a Trip According to Leisure Travelers in North America, Q1 2016 (% of respondents)

Online marketing agency Fuel surveyed 2,959 leisure travelers in Canada and the US. Respondents had to have taken a leisure vacation in the past 12 months to take part in the survey. Nearly half (48.4%) said they used search engines when beginning to research a trip. Additionally, 20.4% of respondents used a property’s website and 13.9% used an online travel agency. Just 5.8% of leisure travelers in North America used a review site when they began planning their trip.

While search engines were a top choice for many, leisure travelers also use mobile—and mobile apps in particular— for travel-related activities. Indeed, Fuel also asked respondents ways in which they would use mobile apps for travel-related activities. Almost two-thirds (61.4%) of respondents said they would use a mobile app to purchase a late checkout.

US Mobile Travel Bookers, 2014-2019 (millions, % change and % of digital travel bookers)

More than half of respondents also they said they would check in using a mobile app if they could, and they would use a mobile app to purchase additional services during their stay. Almost one-third (30.7%) of leisure travelers said they have used at least one mobile app in planning travel.

In 2016, 51.8% of travelers who book trips via digital means will do so using a mobile device, eMarketer estimates. That will be up from 43.8% this year.

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