5 years ago

Browsing from mobile devices now a quarter of traffic to travel sites

Nucleus has released the results of its latest web browsing study showing significant gains in traffic from mobile devices and iPads in particular.

The research from the web design specialist, which is in its fourth wave, shows browsing of travel websites via mobile device now accounts for just over 27% of traffic, an increase of almost a third on the previous period six months ago.

Browsing from Apple devices continues to dominate taking more than 88% of total mobile traffic while iPad alone accounts for almost 62% of all mobile browsing with its position boosted by the launch of the iPad mini in recent months.

Luxury websites show the highest volumes of traffic coming from mobile devices at more than 30% on average.

Interestingly, one luxury hotel website which has the oldest demographic also saw the second highest mobile penetration.

Although iOS devices dominate on this site with 86% of all mobile traffic, browsing from Android devices accounts for 11.5% – a higher than average figure.

Nucleus chief executive Peter Matthews says travel companies now need to decide whether to go for a single website that responds to all devices or separate smartphone websites.

He adds that companies should also factor smart televisions into their strategy.

Further findings:

  • When the first wave of research was carried out in June 2011 average mobile traffic stood at 10.2%, rising to 20.5% a year later and 27.1% in January 2013
  • 8 out of 10 websites in the current study show mobile traffic levels of 25%
  • traffic from iPhone devices has seen a decline of 14%
  • travel sites are on track for more than 50% mobile traffic by the end of 2014

The study looks at 10 UK and international websites in January 2013  with total unique visitors of 1.7m.

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About the Writer :: Linda Fox

Linda Fox is deputy editor for Tnooz. For the past eight years she has worked as a freelance journalist across a range of B2B titles including Travolution, ABTA Magazine, Travelmole and the Business Travel Magazine.

In this time she has also undertaken corporate projects for a number of high profile travel technology, travel management and research companies.

Prior to her freelance career she covered hotels and technology news for Travel Trade Gazette for seven years. Linda joined TTG from Caterer & Hotelkeeper where she worked on the features desk for more than five years.



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  1. Manik

    Hi Linda,

    Great post indeed.

    Mobile device gets more popularity to browse web easily and quickly. So we need to optimize our website for mobile and small devices.

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  3. Jatin Chhabra

    Well as its much easy to manage your work with your android or tab. We also just launched a Mobile app for Hoteliers from where they can manage & sell. So, its easy, less time consuming & most important New Tech will be available soon…

  4. Chicke Fitzgerald

    The backstory here is what the growth in mobile does to call center traffic. Since mobile typically makes it much easier to call than to book via the mobile device, many companies are seeing call center traffic grow, fairly substantially.

    The implication here is that if your profit per transaction is lower for a call center transaction than for an online transaction, then you may need to revisit your mobile strategy. At the minimum, you may want to look at how easy you are making it to call you on the first mobile screen.

    This is particularly important if your website is powered by an OTA, most of whom have a different revenue sharing model for call center transactions versus online bookings. Priceline is currently the only major OTA that does not distinguish in the booking source for its revenue sharing model for its affiliates.

  5. Johann Thorsson


    We launched a responsive version of our website last year in response to the growth in mobile browsing we were seeing. Here are some numbers:

    Percentage of users visiting Dohop on mobile devices (with Apple dominating):
    Jan 2011: 2.24%

    Jan 2012: 7.7%

    Jan 2013: 17.7%

    The growth is more readily seen in this graph: http://blog.dohop.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/2013/02/MobileGrowth.png

    The big jump at the right shows that after the Christmas slump, traffic from mobile increases dramatically. Perhaps a lot of Christmas presents were iPads and iPhones.

  6. Tanielle Lobo

    Great insight Linda. Like other travel related websites, we have also experienced a similar trend when it comes to mobile and tablet traffic and the conversion stats we are seeing look very promising.

    It is also interesting to hear from Peter Matthews, that we also need to factor in smart televisions within this equation.

  7. Pete Meyers

    Fascinating statistics, Linda.

    Any chance there’s additional data about the corresponding conversion / growth in mobile transactions, as well?

    Looking at the big OTAs on iPad / iPhone, it’s clear there’s a lot of different approaches to mobile design (not that transactions are purely a result of great mobile design, but certainly a major influence). Some are highly responsive, some are not. Would be interesting to know who’s doing it “well” and what truly drives revenue versus catcalls.

    • Linda Fox

      Thx Pete,
      you can download the full report here – http://www.nucleus.co.uk/thoughts.aspx and I’ll ask Nucleus if there’s any insight on actual conversion

    • Jennifer Bourdeau

      These are the stats I’ve been looking for! I’m glad they’ve focused on the travel industry. Now, like Robert, I’d love to know what coversion rates look like for mobile and any future predictions, and if there are any particular features driving this conversion.

  8. Rumble

    We can confirm at Relevance we have similar figures for all luxury travel clients. We might even say the number is more important – especially on ipad and iphone – great and very important article.


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