Booking via tablets surges as ABTA reveals online holiday booking habits

| October 14, 2015
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Booking via tablets surges as ABTA reveals online holiday booking habits

 Booking on smartphones remains static

 According to research* by ABTA there has been a significant increase in the use of tablets to book holidays online¹. One in four (24%) of online bookers said they secured at least one getaway via a tablet compared to 18% in 2014, however the use of mobile phones remains flat at 16% of online bookers.

 ABTA’s Holiday Habits Report 2015 shows that the PC remains by far the most popular device for booking with 91% of online bookers using a PC or laptop when booking at least one holiday online in the past 12 months. While it remains dominant, its usage has dropped slightly from 93% last year as tablet usage has increased.

 Table 1.1 – devices used to book a holiday in the UK or abroad online

 

 

2015

2014

Tablet

24%

18%

Mobile

16%

17%

PC/laptop

91%

93%

 

Generally, mobile phone booking has remained fairly steady across all age groups, but not grown. The research suggests this could be because people are finding the mobile phone booking experience more difficult than on a PC or tablet. Ease of use is cited as one of the key advantages of using a PC or tablet. 77% of PC users and 58% of tablet users found the booking experience easy, compared to only 41% of mobile phone users.

The findings suggest travel may be lagging behind other industries in mobile phone bookings. Ofcom’s 2015 Communications Market Report² found that 45% of the public use their smartphone to purchase online. There is also a notable difference in mobile bookings for travel arrangements between age groups, with around a third (34%) of 16-24 year olds using mobiles to book compared to just 7% of those aged 45-54. This difference between travel and other industries may be due to the high value nature of travel transactions.

Age group preferences

While tablet usage is increasing across all age groups, it has seen a surge in popularity amongst younger age groups in particular. Over a third (38%) of both 16-24 year olds and 25-34 year olds booked a holiday via a tablet in the past 12 months, up from 24% and 27% respectively last year.

  Table 1.2 – devices used to book a holiday abroad or in the UK online by age group

 

 

Average

16-24

25-34

35-44

45-54

55-64

65+

Tablet

24%

38%

38%

21%

17%

19%

11%

Mobile

16%

34%

28%

16%

7%

6%

3%

PC/laptop

91%

87%

90%

89%

94%

92%

92%

 Victoria Bacon, ABTA Head of Brand and Business Development said: “Personal computers remain the most popular booking device for people booking their holidays online, reflecting the fact that buying a holiday is often a more complex and high value transaction compared to other purchases. However, for the last two years we have seen significant growth in the use of tablets, reflecting their increasing importance as a device to book holidays online. While smartphones have a long way to go to catch up with PCs and tablets when it comes to holiday bookings, their popularity among younger age groups suggests they will grow in relevance, so travel companies should continue to develop and grow their mobile sales strategies.”

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Category: Featured, Trends

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