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.
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.
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.