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Sojern data shows desktop travel search remains dominant

Sojern’s third Global Travel Insights Report of 2018 finds that desktop usage for travel search remains resilient despite the popularity of mobile.

SAN FRANCISCO – Sojern, travel's demand engine providing marketing and advertising solutions for the travel industry, published its third Global Travel Insights Report of 2018. The new report offers a quarterly look at travel trends from around the world. Sojern's data science team analyzes billions of travel intent signals annually to help 93 percent of the Fortune 500 travel brands better understand the booking behavior of travelers and how to reach them with marketing messages.

"Even with mobile devices nearing global saturation, we continue to see that travel planning search volume remains desktop-heavy," said Jackie Lamping, vice president of marketing at Sojern. "While there's clear evidence that mobile is playing an increasing role in the dreaming and inspiration phases of trip planning – mostly driven through social sharing on Facebook and Instagram – travelers still come back to their desktop in order to research options in more detail, compare prices, and ultimately arrive at a confident decision."

Sojern data shows that only 28 percent of travel searches in the US came from mobile last quarter. Lamping explained, "Many consumers still feel that the price comparison shopping experience is better on desktop – whether that's due to faster wifi or website load times, access to more content, or the ability to open multiple browsing windows simultaneously."

This new report provides insight into customer behavior from travel searches looking back at Q2 of 2018 and looking forward at Q3. Top findings looking back at Q2 include:

Desktop Remains Top for Travel Search
Although mobile devices are abundant, Sojern's latest insights report indicates global consumers are still using desktop for the majority of their searches while planning travel. In North America, 72 percent of travel searches happened on desktop during Q2. For Asia-Pacific, it was 67 percent and in Latin America it was 64 percent

Though desktop reigns supreme in much of the world, mobile search is "king" in two regions: Europe, and the Middle East and Africa; with 53 percent of European travel searches happening on mobile during Q2 and 52 percent in Middle East and Africa.

Traveling Solo Tops the Charts for Q2, Couples Taking Trips Together This Fall
According to our travel intent research, 71 percent of Middle East and African travel searches were for solo trips during the months of April, May and June. Solo trips accounted for 69 percent of North American travel searches, 67 percent in Latin American, 63 percent in Asia Pacific, and 53 percent in Europe.

However, when we look at upcoming travel searches for July, August, and September, couple travel is on the rise. Our data shows an increase in couple travel primarily for North America and Latin America. Europeans, in particular, are searching for more couple trips when traveling regionally. Whereas, people in the Middle East and Africa are searching for group travel of three or more during July through September travel dates.

Not Everyone is Searching for Last-Minute Travel
In the second quarter of 2018, 65 percent of travel searches for Asia Pacific started more than 30 days in advance of the departure date. Similarly, 63 percent of travel searches in Europe and 61 percent in Latin America started more than 30 days in advance of the departure date, while in the Middle East and Africa it was 43 percent. Asia Pacific travelers were the heaviest planners of all regions with 45 percent of travel searches starting more than 60 days out from the departure date.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.