16 Stats about Mobile Travel in 2016

In 2010, travel and hospitality brands were all about social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter. Six years later, social networks are no longer a trendy topic but rather de rigueur in a travel marketer’s online toolkit. Discussions are now more mature about how to integrate a content marketing approach that moves the needle as brands move from engagement to conversions.

Not surprisingly, mobile travel is now a hot topic in every possible shape and form. Consider these 16 stats alone to understand why…

(Source: presentations from LeanPlum, Google, Facebook and TripAdvisor representatives, among others)

  1. 65% of U.S. mobile users have never downloaded a single application.
  2. Half of all mobile apps are downloaded… by only 7% of all mobile users!
  3. 80% of time spent on mobile apps is done on the Top 5 most popular mobile apps.
  4. Facebook owns two of these Top 5 most popular mobile apps!
  5. 90% of all mobile apps downloaded don’t ever get opened after 30 days!
  6. Even worse, it is estimated that 76% of mobile apps don’t get any usage after 24 hours!
  7. TripAdvisor is the travel industry’s most popular mobile app, with more than 230 million downloads and 150 million monthly active users.
  8. Do you send text messages to clients or prospects? 63% of these messages are sent at the wrong time!
  9. Mobile bookings in travel have grown by 1700% between 2011 and 2015, moving from 1% to 18% of online revenues.
  10. Still, this also means that 80% of online bookings don’t take place on mobile devices in 2016…
  11. The average mobile user unlocks their mobile device 150 times per day!
  12. The average mobile user has downloaded 86 apps but will only use 20-25 of them.
  13. 97% of Millennials say they share pictures while travelling (Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Snapchat, etc.)
  14. But if 33% of Millenials don’t mind sharing information about their age or name, only 8% are willing to share data about web browsing habits or access to their social media accounts.
  15. 31% of consumers will search for their next trip from a mobile device.
  16. 85% of international travellers have some kind of mobile device (iPod, tablet, smartphone) while on the road!

Email is key. It remains an effective communication strategy, particularly regarding relationships between brands and loyal customers and as part of various relationship marketing initiatives.

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Destinations on Google. Impossible not to talk about the new product launched by Google, allowing one to discover new destinations, and travel plans, with the best price approach in mind. Will it finally become the OTA-killer many have been suspecting for years? Too early to tell, and we’ll let consumers make that decision. For now, the jury is still out on this one…

Mobile web vs. Mobile app. In other words: must you have a mobile app to be pertinent and cater to on-the-go travellers? No, obviously. A mobile app is a great tool, but you can simply read any of the above 16 stats once again to realize that it’s a heavily saturated environment where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out and stay relevant. However, you need a strategy to provide a quality experience for travellers on the mobile web, where consumers don’t always want to download an app to engage with the brand.

Social media and Mobile. Social media now takes place on mobile, as recent stats show for networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and the likes. And today, mobile native apps run the show, from Instagram to Vine, not to mention streaming darlings such as Periscope, Meerkat or even Facebook Live.

Travel brands on the top of their game are now investing massively into messaging apps, like Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat and Snapchat, to name only the top-of-mind platforms wildly popular with Millennials, among others. Wondering why the fuss about Millennials, anyway? According to a recent finding, this demographic will represent the #1 consumer segment in the U.S. hotel industry by 2018, if not 2017.

Sharing Economy. Last but not least, I am always impressed by the omnipresence of sharing economy players whenever I stay for a couple of days in the United States, with brands such as ZipCar, Lyft or Uber part of the everyday fabric when it isn’t Airbnb, HomeAway or HomeExchange. If this movement is slowing down somewhere, it sure doesn’t seem to be in the U.S., that’s for sure!

About the author

Frederic Gonzalo is passionate about marketing and communications, with over 19 years of experience in travel and tourism. In early 2012, he launched Gonzo Marketing and works as a strategic marketing consultant, professional speaker and trainer in using new technologies (web, social media, mobile). Reach him at
Tags: 2016 in review, Marketing, mobile, ,


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