has always been seen as a natural fit with travel as a technology built for on-the-go communication. That has become even more true with smartphones serving as digital Swiss Army knives, used for
everything from researching travel to getting directions or finding a nearby bank branch.
A new study by comScore on behalf of Millennial Media takes a closer look at the demographics
and behavior of the audience for mobile travel content. It also examines how travel advertisers approach mobile.
The mobile travel audience skews male (60%), with the majority
in the 25-44 age range. The single biggest demo (35%) is those 25-34. More than nine in 10 (93%) own a smartphone, compared to 65% for the broader U.S. population. And half (51%) own a tablet versus
The study found the mobile travel audience is increasingly turning to mobile devices for booking travel in the last year. About two-thirds use smartphones and tablets to
book hotel rooms, and half (49%) to make flight reservations. About a third reserved rental cars through their devices.
On the advertising side, eMarketer estimates mobile accounts
for 12% of total digital advertising spend in the travel category -- a bit lower than might be expected, given the use of mobile in the travel process. And travel ranks as the seventh-largest spending
vertical on Millennial Media’s mobile ad network, behind others like entertainment, retail and telecom.
What parts of the travel industry spend most in mobile? Airlines account
for 30%, followed by booking sites and apps (22%), tourism (14%), amusement parks (12%) and hotels (11%). The vast majority of ads (72%) ran on iOS devices versus 26% on Android. And 64% appeared on
smartphones compared to 34% on tablets.
Among other findings from the study:
*Almost three-quarters (73%) of the mobile travel audience is comfortable using multiple
devices at one time to research and book travel
*App downloads are the most common type of ad call-to-action
*Gaming, productivity, dating and shopping/retail apps showed
the highest interaction for travel campaigns
The results are based on a custom comScore survey in September 2013 of 1,527 U.S. adults including smartphone and tablet users. The study
also draws on comScore’s syndicated MobiLens and TabLens surveys and thousands of travel campaigns run on Millennial Media.