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A study commissioned by the Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft and carried out in cooperation with Google and TNS Infratest, painted a picture of the growing digital revolution in Germany, one of Europe’s largest tourism outbound markets (eMarketer). The study, which was conducted among a representative sample of the population of the ages 16 and older, found that more than 25 million residents access the internet everyday via their smartphones. Although PC’s an laptops (77% of respondents) remained the most widely used device, the adoption of smartphones (50%) and tablets (20%) for Internet usage has risen sharply, in particular over the recent two years.

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MOBILE INCREASES ENGAGEMENT

This increase in adoption of mobile internet devices not only changes the way where people go online, but it also increases the online engagement behaviour. A large majority of smartphone owners said they enjoyed accessing the web with their mobile devices (87%). But more importantly this development leads to an increase in the time spent online. In total 60% of male and 48% of female respondents indicated that since owning a mobile internet device, they spent significantly more time online. This shift is above all interesting for tourism marketers, as delivering seamless consumer experiences on smaller mobile screen sizes will be increasingly important in order to drive German customers along the purchase funnel. Due to the growing spread of 4G network technologies, in both urban as well as remote areas, German consumers will increasingly demand rich media content on mobile sites.

MOBILE GROWTH EXCELS

According to eMarketer the growth of Germany’s smartphone population will further grow at a staggering pace. It is estimated that the total number of smartphone owners will reach 35.4 million by end of this year, which represents a gain of 26% compared to 2013. Thus, by end of 2014 over half of all mobile phone users in the country will use a smartphone. For tourism businesses in the German market it is time to fully adopt a mobile first strategy, thereby catering to the shifting mobile needs of German online travellers.

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