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Nearly 2 in 5 Smartphone users accessed travel content from their device in July

Nearly 40 million consumers accessed travel sites or apps from their smartphone in July 2012, reaching 37 percent of the smartphone population. TripAdvisor Media Group led as the largest travel property with a smartphone audience of 6.7m. visitors, followed by Expedia Inc. with 6m. visitors and Southwest Airlines with 4.1m. visitors.

RESTON – comScore, Inc. released a study of U.S. smartphone travel behaviors based on data from its comScore Mobile Metrix 2.0 service. The study found that nearly 40 million consumers accessed travel sites or apps from their smartphone in July 2012, reaching 37 percent of the smartphone population. TripAdvisor Media Group led as the largest travel property with a smartphone audience of 6.7 million visitors, followed by Expedia Inc. with 6 million visitors and Southwest Airlines with 4.1 million visitors. A demographic analysis revealed that women had a higher tendency than men to access OTA (Online Travel Agent) destinations on their smartphones, with Travelocity and Orbitz displaying the strongest gender skews among OTAs.

TripAdvisor Media Group Leads as Top Travel Destination for Smartphone Users
In July 2012, nearly 40 million people age 18 and older visited a travel destination via mobile browser or app on their smartphone, representing 2 in every 5 smartphone owners accessing from a device running the iOS, Android or RIM operating systems. TripAdvisor Media Group led as the top travel destination for smartphone owners with an audience of 6.7 million visitors, while Expedia Inc. secured the #2 spot with nearly 6 million visitors. Southwest Airlines led as the top airline in the ranking reaching an audience of 4.1 million visitors, while Delta Airlines also ranked among the top 10 destinations with an audience of 2.1 million visitors. Priceline.com secured the #4 spot with 3.5 million visitors while Travora Media, which includes Flightaware and Hotelplanner among other entities, ranked fifth with 2.5 million visitors.

Analysis of the share of time spent across apps and browsers revealed that travel category engagement was more evenly distributed among browser and app access when compared to the total Internet distribution. In July, 53 percent of minutes spent on Travel category content originated from apps, with browsers accounting for 47 percent of minutes. In contrast, 83 percent of all mobile content was consumed via apps with only 17 percent being accounted for by browser usage. Among the top properties, several destinations revealed strong skews toward app engagement. Kayak.com saw apps drive 94 percent of total minutes, while Delta Airlines saw 87 percent of total minutes from its app. Travel planning startup Hipmunk witnessed the strongest skew toward app engagement with 100 percent of usage occurring via app.

Top Travel Properties by Unique Visitors (000) (Mobile Browser and App Audience Combined)
July 2012
Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Age 18+ on iOS, Android and RIM Platforms
Source: comScore Mobile Metrix 2.0
  Total Unique Visitors (000) % Share of Total Minutes 
Browser Share of Minutes App Share of Minutes
Total Audience: (Browsing and Application combined) 106,543 17.2% 82.8%
Travel 39,877 47.0% 53.0%
TripAdvisor Media Group 6,672 76.5% 23.5%
Expedia 5,952 49.1% 50.9%
Southwest Airlines 4,084 50.5% 49.5%
Priceline.com 3,497 72.2% 27.8%
Travora Media 2,518 51.1% 48.9%
Kayak.com 2,09 6.0% 94.0%
Delta Airlines 2,07 13.1% 86.9%
Orbitz Worldwide 1,973 40.0% 60.0%
Marriott 1,835 36.8% 63.2%
InterContinental Hotels Group 1,676 93.6% 6.4%
Travelocity 1,614 80.6% 19.4%
Hipmunk 1,555 0.0% 100.0%
Disney Parks & Travel 1,535 100.0% 0.0%
Hilton Hotels 1,287 99.7% 0.3%
Wyndham Worldwide 1,207 100.0% 0.0%

OTAs See Smartphone Travel Audience Skew Female
A deeper analysis of the top 15 travel properties found significant differences in visitation between female and male smartphone users across travel brands. Among OTA smartphone audiences, women represented a relatively greater proportion of all visitors than did men. Compared to the total Travel category, females represented 14 percent more visitors to Expedia Inc. (index of 114), 12 percent more visitors to Kayak.com, and 22 percent more for Orbitz. The most evident gender difference among OTAs was demonstrated by Travelocity where 65.9 percent of the brand’s smartphone audience was female with an index of 137. Priceline was the only OTA among the top 15 properties where men accounted for the majority of visitors at 53.4 percent.

Demographic Profile among Top Travel Properties by Unique Visitors (000) (Mobile Browser and App Audience Combined)
July 2012
Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Age 18+ on iOS, Android and RIM Platforms
Source: comScore Mobile Metrix 2.0
  Males Females
% Composition of Visitors Composition Index* Unique Visitors % Composition of Visitors Composition Index* Unique Visitors
Travel Category  52.1% 100 47.9% 100
TripAdvisor Media Group 49.5% 95 50.5% 105
Expedia 45.0% 87 55.0% 114
Southwest Airlines 39.2% 76 60.8% 126
Priceline.com 53.4% 103 46.6% 97
Travora Media 52.8% 102 47.2% 98
Kayak.com 46.1% 89 53.9% 112
Delta Airlines 73.6% 142 26.4% 55
Orbitz Worldwide 41.6% 80 58.4% 122
Marriott 51.6% 99 48.4% 101
InterContinental Hotels Group 48.6% 93 51.4% 107
Travelocity 34.1% 66 65.9% 137
Hipmunk 54.7% 105 45.3% 94
Disney Parks & Travel 30.2% 58 69.8% 145
Hilton Hotels 66.8% 129 33.2% 69
Wyndham Worldwide 41.0% 79 59.0% 123
** Index = % of Segment/% of Total Visitors x 100 ;Index of 100 indicates average representation.

Among top airline sites and apps, males accounted for nearly 3 in 4 visitors to Delta Airlines (index of 142), while Southwest Airlines saw females account for 3 in 5 visitors (index of 126). Hotel brands also saw men and women engage differently. InterContinental Hotels Groups and Wyndham Worldwide saw women account for the majority of smartphone visitors, while Hilton saw men represent 66.8 percent of its smartphone audience. Among top hotel brands, Marriot saw the most even distribution of its audience between males and females.

Tatiana Rokou

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.

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