A recent report by marketing firm Criteo has again shown the significance of mobile across the travel industry - underlining the importance for marketers to focus firmly on the mobile platform to capture customers, reports ETC-Digital - part of the European Travel Commission.

Mobile devices aren't just being used to seek out information about travel destinations and to research holidays and companies, they're also being used to make bookings too.

The researchers at Criteo found that the rate of growth of mobile bookings was ten times that of that of desktop bookings. And some travel-related categories showed faster growth than others – for example, mobile bookings for cruises and apartments had risen 35%.

As the report excludes in-app sales, which account for a significant percentage of incremental bookings made on mobile devices, the hold mobile has over the travel industry could be even greater than the study shows.

Mobile growth varies geographically as well. While market penetration has been seen worldwide (mobile is used for a significant percentage of tourism booking in virtually every remotely developed country), growth peaks in the US and Australia, with Japan leading the market. Central European destinations are also seeing significant growth in the mobile travel market.

The key lesson marketers can take from this is how important it is to take into account regional differences when targeting the appropriate platforms and consumers.

Another critical message travel marketers can use to their advantage is the fact that a key element of mobile is spontaneous decision-making - which makes perfect sense, considering that mobile platforms are usually associated with the hectic lifestyles of people who are always on the go.

This being the case, mobile provides a lucrative opportunity since the average booking value for air travel was 21% higher on mobile devices than desktop, and was also 13% greater for car rentals. This is due to last-minute bookings generally being higher value in general - so to generate the biggest profits, marketers should be targeting higher value deals at mobile consumers.

Concluding, the report shows that when it comes to reaching new customers and travellers, marketing that's optimised for mobile will ensure conversion across various mobile devices.

At the same time though, marketing strategy must be adaptable – there must be fluidity between desktop and mobile advertisements and policies must be flexible enough for real-time changes that allow travel firms to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.