Travel Tech

The software giant Adobe has recently released its annual Digital Index Travel Report, which assesses a range of information related to the travel industry. This latest edition particularly assesses consumer behaviour across multiple mobile devices, and will be of interest to any company with a stake in the travel industry.

Authoritative Report

This annual report is regarded as one of the most comprehensive set of travel insights which exist anywhere in the industry. It is based on aggregated and anonymous data which is acquired from the Adobe Marketing Cloud. To provide additional data, Adobe also conducted a complementary survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers who plan to travel this summer. Adobe analysed over 15 billion visits across major U.S. travel, airline and hotel sites between 2013 and 2015, and over 3 million social media posts of a varying nature.

According to the conclusions of the reports, travel industry consumers will spend over $65 billion online on travel between just Memorial Day and Labor Day, which represents a 7 percent increase on the same period last year.

And it is notable that this consumer behaviour is evolving rapidly. 20 percent of travel bookings are now carried out via smartphones and tablets, which represents an 86 percent increase from the figure last year. Surprisingly, Washington DC top of the list of United States travels destinations assessed by the survey, with Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco trailing in behind.

This would seem to be an enduring trend as well, as according to the survey responses 32 percent of consumers anticipate that they will pay more for travel in the foreseeable future. According to the Adobe reports, respondents expect to spend $2,788 on average, and anticipate that 57 percent of this expenditure will be carried out online.

Smartphone Remains Clear Leader

Although tablet has been a disruptive technology in the travel industry, the Adobe report suggests that smartphone still remains out ahead as the most popular mobile device. Data acquired by Adobe indicates that travel companies have successfully optimised sites for mobile, with an increasing number of consumers now utilising larger screened smartphones.

It is therefore important for businesses to bear this in mind in future, and attempt to produce websites which are compatible with the larger phablet-sized devices. These were largely popularised by some very successful Samsung releases, and Apple has followed suit by releasing the iPhone 6 Plus last year; the first ever phablet from the world's leading consumer electronics company.

What is notable as well is that customers are now booking more trips via smartphone than tablets, at least according to the Adobe survey. While smartphones have been an extremely popular way of researching travel and tourism for quite some time, there is an increasing trust in utilising the medium in order to make retail payments.

Perhaps the computer-like nature of tablets led consumers to generally trust this platform as a way of paying more so than smartphones in the past, but figures acquired by Adobe in this report indicate that this perception is rapidly changing. Travel-related companies should bear in mind that purchasing via smartphone is becoming considerably more popular, and although multiple devices are still utilised during the purchasing journey, making websites compatible with smartphone-based sales should be considered a vital aspect of all, It's in the travel industry.

Wi-Fi Insight

Another interesting aspect of the report relates to Wi-Fi. One-third of travellers that took part in this survey indicated that they will unplug from the Internet by travelling to a destination with limited or no mobile connection or Wi-Fi connectivity. This is an interesting statistic, as previous research has indicated that mobile is becoming increasingly important to large swathes of travellers.

What emerges clearly from this information is that although mobile is important to the majority of travellers now, there is a significant minority which still rely on either occasional desktop access to the Internet in order to purchase products and services while travelling, or possibly that wish to disconnect from the Internet completely. This would suggest that desktop remains an important part of travel-related businesses' overall strategy, but also that off-line methods of offering goods and services should not be neglected.

The Adobe report is an interesting and valuable document for any business with a stake in the travel industry, and also provides a lot of interesting information relating to flights, hotels and United States destinations. A summary of the full report is available online.

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