Mobile is now dominating the playground of leisure travel. Google says that 70 percent of travelers with smartphones have used their mobile device to research the trip. Since 60 percent of Americans say their leisure travel was their single greatest expenditure of the year, mobile is a big money opportunity.
The path to purchase for a leisure traveler can include hundreds of micro-moments on mobile when something triggers an itch to pack a bag. Short, but frequent bursts of searches for hotels, flights and destinations mean that a travel marketer must be open and ready for business with a mobile site. Google says that about one-third of travelers haven’t decided on a destination when they have their first “I-want-to-get-away” moment. Mobile devices accounted for 40 percent of those first search interactions for a destination during the first half of 2016.
Sites that include video are likewise at an advantage. For one destination client we have created two sites offering a variety of videos so that travel shoppers can sample a variety of offerings. For VisitJohnsonCityTN.com, a video kiosk environment for desktop easily transfers to a scrolling one for topics ranging from history to nightlife, dining, and a beer trail. For the other, SouthernDozen.com, we’ve just added a 13th ride that soon will include Google Map markers along each of the trails so that a motorcyclist can literally strap on their smartphone and go.
The most exciting opportunity is Google’s finding that 85 percent of travelers still search for destinations after they have arrived at their leisure location. They often use searches for “near me” in these cities and towns to find restaurants, attractions and nightlife.
Making the most of travel business has got to include a solid mobile strategy that includes paid search, retargeting with mobile banners, and great creative that captures the imagination of those with the travel itch. You can learn more about the latest travel trends involving the Internet in a series of recent articles at ThinkWithGoogle.com.