Travel marketing: Are travelers searching for a mobile site you haven’t built yet?

August 15, 2011

8 out of 10 Google advertisers report they haven't built a mobile site yet.

Several studies confirm that travelers are adapting to the mobile platform faster than the brands they are trying to access.

  • In a recent survey by Frommer’s, 52% of respondents said they are most likely to access travel information from their mobile devices when traveling, up from only 27% a year ago.
  • Google just reported that mobile traffic is growing at about 20% quarter over quarter.
  • eMarketer reports that 50% of all new internet connections worldwide are coming from mobile devices.
  • Yet Google  found that almost 8 in 10 of their top advertisers have not built mobile-specific websites.

Mike Putnam, Director of Mobile Product at TripAdvisor discussed that growth in an interview with Ritesh Gupta from Eye for Travel.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth in site usage across mobile platforms over the course of the past 12 months. When we launched (our mobile site) in March (of last year), we had roughly one million unique monthly visitors.

Fast forward one year, and we’re now seeing more than five million unique monthly visitors.”

Rob Torres, managing director of travel at Google says that people searching for travel information using Google Mobile is growing exponentially.

  • According to Rob, “The percentage of queries coming from mobile devices now makes up 19.5% of all hotel queries.”
  • In the same interview, Torres also reported that the number of mobile travel bookings has increased 10 fold from 2008 to 2010, from $20 million to $200 million.

So what do these experts advise?

“Travel companies that do not invest in the mobile web may be left behind in the years to come as smartphones and tablets become even more ubiquitous,” says Putnam.

Torres concurs, “We see mobile websites as a no-brainer opportunity for marketers…Travel queries coming form mobile devices make up more than 15% of all queries.

Yet most travel advertisers are allocating less than 5% of their search budgets to mobile search. So there is certainly room for growth.”

Have you created a mobile landing page or website yet?  If not, when?  If so, how’s it going? Talk to us.


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