Organisations must give serious thought to travel marketing in a multiscreen world.
A new report by Expedia Media Solutions, undertaken by analysts at Comscore, has highlighted the need for marketers to develop a strategy that will encompass the growing number of platforms and devices that travellers are using. The report is titled "Impact of Multiscreens on the Travel Purchase Path".
These days, travellers are consuming media across a wide range of screens, devices and platforms; in fact, a third of US households use five or more devices, says travel site Tnooz.
It's a trend that's already making businesses sit up and take note: according to forecasts by ANA/Nielsen, media spending on multiscreen ad campaigns will make up half of marketing budgets by next year, up from 20% in 2013.
Now the Expedia report reveals the true picture of multiscreen usage among travellers. The study found that the mobile travel audience outweighs the PC travel audience in the US.
That said, only 6% of bookings came from a mobile device, with smartphones accounting for twice as much revenue as tablets. Mobile bookings cover all types of travel; together, air and hotel bookings account for nearly 70%, the study found.
There was a 60% increase in smartphone users visiting travel information sites the first half of 2014 as the smartphone audience grew 39%, says Expedia. This also led to a 43% increase in site visits for both online travel agents and hotels/resorts. Travellers are more likely to use smartphones (37%) to access travel related information during their trip than at any other stage.
Meanwhile, tablets registered 30% audience growth year-on-year, driving up visits to airline and hotel/resort sites by an impressive 72% and 50% respectively.
Before the trip, luxury and business travellers use their smartphones to engage with travel content more than any other group, said the report - 40% of luxury travellers shopped for air/hotel and planned trip activities, while 43% of business travellers wanted information about destinations.
Next year, luxury travellers are more likely to book travel using a mobile device, the study predicts; over three-quarters (77%) using a tablet and 52% on a smartphone. And business travellers as well as families are more likely to book travel using a tablet too - 57% and 56% respectively. While they're away, 47% of business travellers will use their smartphone to find travel-related information, while 45% of family travellers will do the same.
Advertising can be very effective in the multiscreen world. Approximately one in five travellers intentionally engage with ads on their mobile device - 45% of luxury travellers intentionally clicked on a smartphone ad and 43% of business travellers intentionally clicked on a tablet ad, the researchers found.
It's clear from the Expedia study that travel marketers have the opportunity to integrate a multi-platform marketing approach to engage key audiences effectively throughout the planning of their trips.