Growth In Mobile Use For Travel Boosts Advertising Spend

The growth in mobile usage for researching, booking and purchasing travel-related services has created many opportunities for travel advertisers in the sector, a report from independent mobile advertising platform firm Millennial Media reveals.

Millennial Media's study shows that people are dedicating more and more time to various mobile devices and performing a wide range of activities on their gadgets, with a corresponding rise in mobile usage for travel.

Mobile advertising currently accounts for 12% of the total digital advertising spend in the travel segment. A study from eMarketer predicts that travel-related mobile commerce sales in the United States will surge 247% to $55.5 billion in 2017 from just $16 billion last year.

The Millennial Media report notes that a majority of mobile travel customers are men and aged between 25 and 44. The mobile travel audience is happy to use several devices to research and book their trip and will use them at all stages of the travel process. Travellers turn to mobile to research travel choices, hotels and attractions, to book directly from the device, for navigation while travelling and to write reviews when they get back home.

Millennial Media said that last year travel was the fifth largest brand category on its platform in the Asia-Pacific region, spanning sub-segments including booking websites and services, airlines, tourism and hotels.

The researcher highlighted the fact that that airlines emerged as the largest sub-segment, contributing 47% to retail ad spend last year. Some 77% of travel initiatives launched on Millennial Media's platform had a mobile element to increase site traffic in 2013. In fact, the travel segment focused on boosting website traffic at 294% the average rate of other platforms.

Travel brands have the opportunity to take advantage of the trends and strategies emerging in the mobile sector. People expect to get compelling mobile experiences when accessing travel content, the report states. Seamless integration across different platforms, including saving a user's personal information, boarding passes and itinerary for their trip, provide travellers with the mobile experience the need to be constantly connected while on the go, which in turn helps brands attract new customers, engage with them and retain them as customers in the future.

Travel advertisers need to invest more in mobile websites and apps and to use the constantly evolving tools in mobile advertising to reach and engage with people. Developing apps and mobile-optimised websites that provide easy access while travelling gives travel companies a huge advantage.