Google says it is already seeing 19% of all hotel queries in search being conducted on mobile devices, supporting the idea that mobile is now more important than ever in travel marketing.
The stat also backs recent data from eMarketer which suggested the number of US consumers, for example, using a mobile to research travel products will climb from 19.7 million in 2010 to 29.7 million by next year.
Google, of course, has a vested interest in persuading hoteliers to throw part of their marketing budget into mobile search as well as existing desktop web PPC advertising.
But despite the ulterior motive, such data is pretty compelling and travel companies are being urged to consider mobile in the same way as perhaps they interact with consumers on the web-based journey:
A recent study of general consumer behaviour by Google with Ipsos OTX found that 71% of smartphone users carried out a search because they had seen an ad either off or line, while 74% of offline shoppers make a purchase as a result of using their smartphones (presumably researching as they wander about).
For the travel sector, some interesting data from the study points to the importance of localisation in search.
Searching for local details is carried out by almost all smartphone users (95%), but most interestingly 88% of those searching for local information “take action” within a day, presumably to visit a website or an actual venue.
Furthermore, 77% have conducted a business after using mobile search for local information, with 61% calling and 59% visiting the premises of a local business.
Here is a clip that explains more about the behaviour of smartphone users: