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.
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.
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.