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Travel Planners Migrate to Mobile

Mobile accounts for 51% of travel content social shares

December 19, 2014

Travel research hasn’t tipped toward mobile—though it’s close—but there’s one area where tablets and smartphones win among travel fans: content-sharing.

Devices Used by US Internet Users to Share* vs. Browse** Travel Content, Sep 2014 (% of total on the ShareThis network)

In September 2014 research by ShareThis, 51% of travel content social shares by US internet users took place through a smartphone or tablet. Smartphones were particularly important for sharing, accounting for 41% of the total pie. Meanwhile, PCs accounted for 60% of browsing and researching.

Other research suggests mobile has solidified its position among digital travel content visitors. A July 2014 study by comScore for Expedia Media Solutions found that 40% of the US travel audience only accessed digital travel content via mobile. Mobile-only visitors totaled 62 million, compared with 52 million people who only engaged with digital travel content through a PC.

US Digital Travel Content Visitors, by Device, July 2014 (millions)

eMarketer’s estimates for digital travel researchers put mobile users in the minority, with 61.1 million US consumers expected to look up information prior to a trip via a mobile device this year—representing 47.4% of digital travel researchers. But next year, the roles will reverse as the number of total mobile travel researchers rises nearly 20% to hit 72.8 million, or 54.6% of those who research travel digitally. By 2018, mobile travel researchers will account for 71.3% of digital travel researchers in the US.

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