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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : August 15, 2016

Travel brands up their mobile game but skip tablets

A new report from digital user experience agency Sigma reveals that top travel brands have significantly improved their offerings by ensuring their mobile websites are optimized mobile users.

by Helen Leggatt

Earlier this year, research by Opera Mediaworks revealed that more than half (51%) of travelers said they now prefer mobile to desktop for travel booking. Furtherore, when asked whether they prefered to conduct travel research on mobile or desktop, two-thirds (66%) said mobile.

The survey results appear to bust the myth that consumers use mobile only for travel research.

Sigma's latest research in the UK (a country that spends £31 billion on international tourism a year, the fourth highest in the world after China, Germany, and the USA), reveals that, among the top travel brands, mobile has become an important channel with eight of the top 10 travel websites* now providing a mobile-friendly user experience, incorporating responsive or adaptive design, and all but one have their own dedicated mobile app.

"The statistics show that holidaymakers are booking a lot of their trips online across different devices, and our research proves that the top travel websites have taken this on board," said Hilary Stephenson, managing director at Sigma. "It should be a given that all websites are usable across devices, particularly now we're moving more and more online, meaning consumers are increasingly wanting to be able to access information and services on the move via a mobile or tablet."

However, just half of the top ten travel websites were optimized for tablets, despite Sigma's findings showing that one in four travelers use this device to book a trip. Stephenson believes that skipping over tablet use is a big oversight. "We think it's just a matter of time before all travel companies have their own mobile app, but first, they need to make sure their websites are easy to use on tablet devices," she said.

*Skyscanner, AirBnb, LateRooms,, LastMinute, OnTheBeach, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Co-operative Travel, and Expedia.

Tags: apps, mobile, research, tablet, travel, trends

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