51% of smartphone owners use them for travel related activities

Mobile phones usage for travel.
Mobile phones usage for travel.
Google and Ipsos released a report on mobile phones usage for travel. (image: shuttershock)

Google and Ipsos have in their latest report, provided some insight into how people use smartphones for travel related tasks.

According to the report, 51% of smartphone users in the I-want-to-go moments turn to their devices for information as well as activities related to travel. These may include booking hotels online, buying flight tickets online, reviewing accommodation etc. The frequency of this trend is astounding, with 71% (of the users in the survey) doing so on a weekly basis.

Information sought is related to travel tips, best destinations and as one would expect, available packages and discounts from various hotels and service providers.

Furthermore, the report shows the preference of mobile applications for travel related use, with an average of 2.3 travel apps installed on smartphones. Yet, it is important to note that a higher percentage of travellers (65%) still use mobile sites for travel, as compared to 58% who prefer to apps, according to Google.

From conducting online searches, booking accommodation and flights, to mobile payments, the penetration of mobile devices especially in Africa gives more optimism for the travel industry. As GSMA Intelligence – a trade body that represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide predicts, there will be 725 million unique subscribers of mobile services by 2020.

By Josephine Wawira