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Travelport Digital research reveals apps are the preferred choice for travel search and booking

Today’s consumers want to engage with travel brands on their own terms. That means using multiple-devices at different stages of the travel lifecycle. Laptops are being used less and less, and when it comes to mobile there are clear differences in how travelers use mobile web and mobile apps to search and book travel.

At Travelport Digital we have just released the findings from our latest piece of primary research. We surveyed 955 end travelers from across 3 different continents to determine the role that mobile plays in travel.

Reasons travelers prefer apps versus web

The findings revealed that apps remain the ‘go to’ for traveler engagement and that native apps in many respects are the preferred channel over web due to their speed, additional functionality and better overall UX .

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App functionality that travelers value

Due to the advantages of speed and UX, travelers download and use apps to search and book travel. 35% also like the immediacy of push notifications that keep them up to date, while almost a third of travelers use apps for promotions or discounts in travel. Loyalty features, that include items like automatic log-in, trip details, airmiles and account/payment details, are important for 24% of travelers.


Travel activities preferred via apps and web

When it comes to check-in and boarding passes it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that apps are the favourite choice but things start to get interesting when you compare apps and web for travel search and booking. 58% of people prefer to use apps for searching for flights and 53% prefer apps to search accommodation, with a close run race for who wins out for booking. Web on the other hand wins out being the preferred choice when it comes to car rental and destination bookings.

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Push notifications offer a mix of opportunities to delight and monetize

Further insights revealed that the power of push notifications are not waning with travelers finding trip specific push notifications and promotional offers useful.

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Push notifications have traditionally only been able to be delivered via mobile apps in the past but with the messaging explosion there are now multiple touchpoints through which customers can now be engaged. Travelers now expect to be communicated to through the channel of their choosing, primarily preferring apps and messaging platforms.

Great UX = Great Loyalty. Bad UX = Bad Loyalty

Customers these days are extremely savvy so it’s important to note that any old mobile experience won’t do and having a 1 or 2 star rated app should come with a health warning. Travelers value UX highly, with 85% saying they would be more likely to book a trip with a brand that had a good user experience. Conversely, if they had a bad app experience, 69% would be unlikely to book with that brand again.


To find out more you can download the full report, “How people use mobile to search and book travel”, for free



Aisling White - Content & Communications Manager

Aisling has over 14 years’ experience in marketing, brand and PR. Prior to joining Travelport Digital, Aisling worked at Hostelworld.com and Sage Software. At Travelport Digital Aisling works on communications, content marketing and social media activity to drive lead generation and customer engagement.

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