The Data Digest: Global Mobile Digital Travel Behaviors

We finally have sunny weather here in the Netherlands -- and for me, and many of my friends and colleagues, that means it's time to prepare for our summer holidays! Will it be a family vacation close to home this year, or should we play safe and opt for a sunny getaway to Southern Europe? While collectively deciding on a destination for the family (and sometimes the extended family, too) may demand caution and compromise, the act of making travel reservations has never been easier. With hospitality companies and travel agencies moving from online to mobile portals, we have the potential to research, book, change, and enhance travel arrangements on our mobile phones at any moment – and most consumers take advantage of this.

In fact, US consumers recently selected Expedia's Hotels & Flights application as the People's Voice Travel App in the 17th Annual Webby Awards. Available for free download in nearly 20 different languages, Expedia's Hotels & Flights app serves travelers globally. Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® data reveals how consumers around the world engage with travel applications. While the trend is evident among US online adults, metropolitan Asian online adults have shown even greater uptake of mobile travel apps:

This data suggests not only that travelers worldwide are engaging with their mobile phones to different degrees of sophistication but also that, overall, the travel industry represents a unique opportunity for businesses to connect with people who are on the go via their most portable device. Gina Sverdlov's most recent report on global mobile behaviors analyzes the evolution of worldwide mobile trends so that professionals can understand their mobile opportunity relative to geography.

Travel agencies and hospitality companies investing in their mobile experience should consider international audiences with the same optimism that they do local segments, as both traveling and using mobile phones have one major thing in common: They make the world a smaller place.