Some interesting findings in a report on the increased use of mobile devices for planning and buying travel from performance advertising company Criteo.

The 2014 Travel Flash Report highlights worldwide activity from 1,000 travel websites for the first half of this year and a summary of key findings is below.

However, some trends are worth a closer look. For example, peer-to-peer apartment rentals have the highest mobile penetration at 34% globally. This could perhaps be down to a demographic of young travellers seeking our services such as Airbnb, Wimdu and others in the sector.

Also interesting to note is that the value of mobile bookings versus desktop is rising in all sectors except accommodation. The research shows average booking value for air travel at about a fifth higher via mobile than desktop and car rentals about 13% higher than desktop.

Hotels don’t fair so well with average booking on mobile about 30% lower compared with desktop booking values. This could be the impact of same-day and last-minute booking apps as well as flash sales services.

Further key global findings include:

probably not surprising to most is that mobile bookings are growing faster than desktop. The research shows a 20% increase via mobile compared to just two percent for desktop computers the first six months of 2014. Smartphones and tablets now account for 21 percent of hotel bookings. In-app bookings account for 12 percent of total mobile bookings. The value of bookings by device varies across sectors. On average $600 more is spent on packages booked via iPads compared to those booked via any Android device. However, the value of Android bookings for flights outpaces all other mobile devices.

The Criteo research also highlights interesting regional mobile and online patterns:

Asia Pacific leads the way with more than 20% of travel bookings made on a mobile device, with Brazil and Germany lagging with less than 10%. Japanese travellers are three times more likely to book via mobile than German travellers. With a 42% increase, Latin America saw the most significant seasonal growth in online bookings for travel advertisers. This coincided with the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Online travel agencies’ bookings climb by 50% throughout the summer season in Europe and the US, but the value of those bookings falls by almost a fifth. For hotel suppliers, booking volumes remain stable throughout the first half of 2014 but there are peaks in value in February and June.

The bottom line with all of this, from Criteo’s point of view, is that travel advertisers need to be thinking strategically about marketing across all channels and about the customer experience they are providing.

Further findings and implications are revealed in the report which can be downloaded here.

Original author: Linda Fox