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Mobile browsing of travel sites continues to grow and accelerate in January 2013. Interestingly, the iPad has established itself as the number one browsing device used. And especially with Apple’s release of the iPad Mini, tablets' share in browsing has increased, averaging 88.3% of all mobile traffic. While mobile traffic from iPhones has declined, the big losers of those surveyed are Blackberry and Symbian smartphones, which together represent less than 1% of the total traffic. Also quite surprisingly, Android keeps its browsing share at 8% despite Android sales having increased. With the release of the Windows Phone, it will be interesting to see how this develops in the future and how the mobile traffic numbers change. More information can be found in the Nucleus Mobile Survey of web browsing.

27% of browsing to travel sites comes from mobile devices. Within tourism, luxury travel websites experience the highest mobile traffic, with an average of more than 30%. This is quite remarkable as the study reveals that some of these luxury travel sites are not as mobile ready as they should be.

Impact on the future of tourism

The message to tourism is clear; mobile traffic is constantly growing, and with iPad identified as the number one browsing device, tourism organisations and destinations really need to improve and work hard in the mobile space.

Websites need to be ready for mobile traffic, and all web features need to be accessible across devices: from all kinds of Smartphones to Tablets. This is not an option or a plus anymore for destinations and tourism organisations to offer – it is a MUST.

Investing in making websites mobile and tablet ready can increase traffic, which can lead to increased conversions as we also see a trend in increased bookings via mobile devices. 2013 really seems to be the year of mobile traffic and opportunities. For tourism, that really is positive news!

Takeaways

Mobile really drives traffic to travel sites, and iPad can be considered the number one browsing device. Most destination websites within Europe are not optimised for mobile, which needs to change as destinations are missing out on high traffic and effectively on conversions and potential travellers. This is the year to make necessary changes in order to ensure future growth in traffic.

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