comScore, Inc, a leader in measuring the digital world, today released a study of U.S. smartphone travel behaviors based on data from its comScore Mobile Metrix 2.0 service. The study found that nearly 40 million consumers accessed travel sites or apps from their smartphone in July 2012, reaching 37 percent of the smartphone population. TripAdvisor Media Group led as the largest travel property with a smartphone audience of 6.7 million visitors, followed by Expedia Inc. with 6 million visitors and Southwest Airlines with 4.1 million visitors. A demographic analysis revealed that women had a higher tendency than men to access OTA (Online Travel Agent) destinations on their smartphones, with Travelocity and Orbitz displaying the strongest gender skews among OTAs.
TripAdvisor Media Group Leads as Top Travel Destination for Smartphone Users
In July 2012, nearly 40 million people age 18 and older visited a travel destination via mobile browser or app on their smartphone, representing 2 in every 5 smartphone owners accessing from a device running the iOS, Android or RIM operating systems. TripAdvisor Media Group led as the top travel destination for smartphone owners with an audience of 6.7 million visitors, while Expedia Inc. secured the #2 spot with nearly 6 million visitors. Southwest Airlines led as the top airline in the ranking reaching an audience of 4.1 million visitors, while Delta Airlines also ranked among the top 10 destinations with an audience of 2.1 million visitors. Priceline.com secured the #4 spot with 3.5 million visitors while Travora Media, which includes Flightaware and Hotelplanner among other entities, ranked fifth with 2.5 million visitors.
Analysis of the share of time spent across apps and browsers revealed that travel category engagement was more evenly distributed among browser and app access when compared to the total Internet distribution. In July, 53 percent of minutes spent on Travel category content originated from apps, with browsers accounting for 47 percent of minutes. In contrast, 83 percent of all mobile content was consumed via apps with only 17 percent being accounted for by browser usage. Among the top properties, several destinations revealed strong skews toward app engagement. Kayak.com saw apps drive 94 percent of total minutes, while Delta Airlines saw 87 percent of total minutes from its app. Travel planning startup Hipmunk witnessed the strongest skew toward app engagement with 100 percent of usage occurring via app.
OTAs See Smartphone Travel Audience Skew Female
A deeper analysis of the top 15 travel properties found significant differences in visitation between female and male smartphone users across travel brands. Among OTA smartphone audiences, women represented a relatively greater proportion of all visitors than did men. Compared to the total Travel category, females represented 14 percent more visitors to Expedia Inc. (index of 114), 12 percent more visitors to Kayak.com, and 22 percent more for Orbitz. The most evident gender difference among OTAs was demonstrated by Travelocity where 65.9 percent of the brand’s smartphone audience was female with an index of 137. Priceline was the only OTA among the top 15 properties where men accounted for the majority of visitors at 53.4 percent.
Among top airline sites and apps, males accounted for nearly 3 in 4 visitors to Delta Airlines (index of 142), while Southwest Airlines saw females account for 3 in 5 visitors (index of 126). Hotel brands also saw men and women engage differently. InterContinental Hotels Groups and Wyndham Worldwide saw women account for the majority of smartphone visitors, while Hilton saw men represent 66.8 percent of its smartphone audience. Among top hotel brands, Marriot saw the most even distribution of its audience between males and females.