New online travel trends as consumers buy tablets

Mobile travel shakeup looms as more people use tablets

Skyrocketing tablet purchases are triggering dramatic changes in online and travel shopping behaviour, a new report highlights.

Some 44% of travellers in the US now own a tablet and an additional four in 10 plan to buy one by the end of 2014, the PhoCusWright report Innovation Edition report says.

With smartphone penetration at 75%, the tablet’s rapid rise means a growing share of travellers are splitting online travel planning across multiple web-enabled devices.

“Tablets are having an impact on travel planning habits that goes far beyond simply adding one more device to the mix,” said consumer research analyst Marcello Gasdia. “Once a traveller purchases a tablet, we’re seeing their mobile web usage nearly double, with the mobile web accounting for 50% of time spent online.”

He explained that “the assumption that online travel planning usually means interacting via the desktop web may no longer hold true.”

While desktop and laptop computers still get the highest marks for ease-of-use in terms of travel planning, seven in ten tablet owners rate planning a vacation online via tablet as somewhat or very easy. Most tablet owners also have a smartphone close at hand, but they are more likely to rely on their tablet for destination selection, shopping and booking – making tablets a crucial element of mobile travel strategy in 2014.

BizReport

[pictured: Toshiba Android Tablet AT200]

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