Looking to draw new clients? A new study from HotelsCombined points to the continued importance of mobile devices for travelers looking to book their vacation.
According to the study, hotel bookings on mobile devices increase 67 percent in the U.S. in 2016 compared to the previous year. Bookings on tablets also grew by 30 percent year over year, while desktop bookings increased by only 4 percent – meaning more Americans are making travel decisions on the go.
For American travelers, the most popular time for hotel reservations on mobile devices is 48 hours before check in, with 72 percent of all bookings made on mobile devices in this timeframe. Americans also tend to book on tablets on the same day as check in, with 40 percent of all last-minute bookings (within 24 hours of check in) made on tablets, followed by mobile and desktop at 36 percent and 24 percent, respectively.
Hotel searches on mobile devices experienced similar growth in 2016, being up 137 percent year over year, 25 percent more than on desktop. However, the total volume of mobile searches was seven times lower compared to desktop searches in 2016.
“It’s clear that Americans are getting more comfortable booking on mobile, but for travel search and discovery desktops are still preferred,” said Chris Rivett, travel expert at HotelsCombined. “Travelers will often sit down at home with a laptop or computer for the discovery phase as it can often require research on all aspects of a trip, and discussion with family or friends. After that there’s usually a mulling period, followed by a decision, and then the hotel booking itself is often made on a mobile device.”
Rivett said that some travelers also tend to jump straight to the booking phase, and that these tend to be customers who want to find the right room, in the right location for the best price – quickly.
State by state, California booked the most hotels on mobile devices in 2016, followed by Kansas, Texas, Florida and New York. States that saw the biggest growth in mobile bookings in 2016 were Rhode Island, Vermont, Michigan, Iowa and Indiana.