Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast: Episode 34 – How People Use their Phones for Travel According to Google

In this episode of the Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast, we discuss a survey conducted by Google via Ipsos in October 2016 to US smartphone users age 18-64. The study had some really interesting data and we dig through it and give you some insight into what it means for you and your hotel.


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Show Notes:

“I want to go moments”

51% of smartphone owners use their device for travel-related activities

Top 3 answers:

  • 44% looked for discounts or offers
  • 35% looked at things to do/tourist information before visiting
  • 32% looked at things to do/tourist information while visiting

Accommodation-specific answers

  • 25% looked at accommodations options
  • 22% checked into flight or accommodation
  • 20% booked an accommodation
  • 14% made a last-minute booking

App discovery

To discover new travel apps, people turn most to friends, family and app stores:

  • 35% friends/family are using them
  • 35% browsed app stores
  • 31% saw an ad while browsing the web
  • 11% business informed me directly about their app

Top Reasons for Downloading a Travel App

Ease of use it top of mind:

  • 36% to make a specific activity/task easier AND
  • 13% activity unavailable on the mobile website
  • 32% recommended by others
  • 32% to access discounts or offers
  • 20% to complete a purchase
  • 19% got a specific reward for downloading the app

Free vs. Paid Apps

82% have never paid for a travel app. For those that did (survey includes 92 respondents), top reasons:

  • 44% had the content I wanted
  • 40% app had good reviews
  • 39% offered functionality unavailable on free versions
  • 35% wanted ad-free
  • 30% exclusive deals/discounts offered

App Usage Frequency

On average, users have 2.3 travel apps installed, and 58% of those apps are used at least monthly

  • 25% have 3+ apps
  • 24% have 2 apps
  • 25% have 1 app
  • 26% have no app
  • 12% use daily
  • 28% use weekly
  • 58% use monthly
  • 10% use never

Mobile Site vs. Travel App?

More people turn to mobile sites for travel than apps, but each has a role to play

Top reasons for app vs. mobile site:

  • 60% use a loyalty program
  • 58% digital ticket/boarding pass
  • 49% check into flight or accommodation
  • 41% book accommodation vs. 38% preferred mobile site

Top reasons for mobile site vs. app:

  • 47% look at things to do/tourist info before visiting vs. 31% on app
  • 45% make a last-minute booking vs. 34% on app
  • 44% look at flight options vs. 37% on app
  • 42% look for accommodations options vs. 36% for mobile site

App features:

The apps they love most are easy to use and navigate

  • 58% easy to use and navigate
  • 36% have good discounts or offers
  • 31% receive useful notifications from them

Features that users find most valuable:

  • 64% wide range of features
  • 62% stores preferences to make future activities easier
  • 59% requires sign in for security
  • 58% uses location for personalized experience
  • 34% stores credit card/billing info to make future purchases faster

Push Notifications:

If they provide value, push notifications aren’t a turnoff.

87% find notifications useful.

Most useful types of notifications:

  • 45% Trip status
  • 44% New discount or offer
  • 38% reminder of a booking/purchase in progress

Reasons Travelers Stop Using Apps:

Top personal reasons:

  • 30% needed to free up memory
  • 29% no longer had a need for that app
    • WHY?
      • 48% using for one-off trip
      • 42% other apps covered travel needs
      • 28% no longer customer of company

Top App-related reasons:

  • 27% taking up a lot of memory
  • 20% wasn’t easy to use
  • 19% too many ads
  • 17% receiving too many notifications

Why Users Re-engage

  • 27% app uses less memory
  • 26% app was redesigned for easier use
  • 25% discount on next purchase
  • 24% exclusive or bonus offers or products

Fuel will be Speaking at the December HSMAI lunch → Digital Trends for 2017

  • Wednesday, December 14th
  • Ocean Creek Resort in Myrtle Beac


In the News

Expedia Publishes the Bleisure Traveler Profile:

Unbounce stopped producing content for 2 weeks, produced 700 new leads


Download the Fuel Leisure Travel Study at www.fueltravel.com/study


Follow Us on Twitter:


Submit your questions and topic ideas on Twitter to @_travelboom. Download our leisure travel study at www.fueltravel.com/study/.

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