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Adobe Digital Index/ Online Media

Report: Online Travel Bookings Will Rake In $61B This Summer

by Adobe Digital Index

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After a brutal winter and bad case of cabin fever, it looks like Americans are ready to hit the road this summer. Adobe Digital Index’s (ADI) “Travel 2014 Report” predicts that online travel bookings will reach $61 billion between Memorial Day and Labor Day, a 15 percent increase year over year (YoY).

The ADI report is built on consumer data from Adobe Analytics brand sites from 2012 to 2014. (Note: Adobe is CMO.com's parent company.) The findings are based on aggregated and anonymous data from global travel-related Web sites. Sample information includes more than 33 billion visits to 1,300 branded travel Web sites.

ADI found that smartphone bookings are up a whopping 121 percent since January 2013. What’s more, bookings via gaming consoles are up 60 percent, and tablet bookings are up 48 percent, both in the same period.

“Travel companies—online travel agencies, airlines, hotels—have done a much better job of extending the booking capability to their mobile applications and making their Web sites more mobile-friendly, which is increasing the amount of online bookings," said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst at ADI. 

Of course, despite this growth in the use of other devices, the PC still has the largest share of bookings, at a whopping 86 percent. Tablets have the largest share of mobile-device bookings, at just 10 percent.

While all of the travel segments analyzed in ADI’s report—airline, online travel agencies (OTA), car rental, and hotels—are seeing increased bookings online, the airline segment is leading the pack. Airline online-booking growth is highest—up 28 percent YoY as of April 2014. OTA-booking growth is up 25 percent, car rental growth is up 25 percent, and hotel growth is up 23 percent. 

Smartphone bookings, however, are growing fastest among hotels, up 114 percent since January 2013. OTA smartphone bookings came in second, with a 110 percent increase in growth since January 2013. Airline bookings saw an 83 percent increase in smartphone bookings in the same period.

Travelers using tablets are most likely purchasing their airfare, according to ADI; airlines are seeing the highest growth in tablet bookings, up 112 percent. In comparison, OTA bookings are up 64 percent, and hotel bookings on tablets are up 36 percent.

“Marketers—now talking more broadly and not just about the travel industry—can also take advantage of the fact that the upcoming summer months are more mobile,” Gaffney said. “They could utilize the newer capabilities—like Facebook's new mobile advertising network—to reach out to people who are on the go. We know [from] when people traveled during Black Friday that local access goes way up during travel periods. Marketers should consider more mobile-specific marketing campaigns during the summer.”

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