Doubters over the growth of mobile will perhaps be taking a hard look at their strategy with a study saying a third of smartphone users will research a trip via their handset this year.
Respected research body eMarketer says a survey carried out amongst US consumers found that around 25 million US mobile users will research travel information on a mobile device during 2011.
Furthermore, around 12 million will mobiles to book a travel product. Driving this use of devices is the adoption of smartphones by consumers, eMarketer says.
While some will inevitably question the figures, “research” covers everything from pre-trip planning and destination research, to product search, booking and in-resort services.
Given that this is actually a broad suite of functions and services, perhaps a third is actually realistic or even a rather conservative view.
Nevertheless, the study found that growth in mobile travel research will continue at a steady pace into next year, with the number of smartphone owners using their devices tor travel-related activity running from 30% in 2010 to 32% this year and 34% in 2012.
Other charts illustrating phone usage for travel research:
But, if the research is to be believed, clearly having a mobile strategy (whether it’s app or mobile web-led) in the first place is now more important than ever.