New figures released by the Expedia group, one of the world’s leading travel companies, reveal mobile bookings continue to rise, with more than one in four room nights booked during the first quarter of 2015 being made via a mobile device.The figures also show more than half of mobile bookings made globally* are completed within two days of travel or stay, suggesting Australian hoteliers looking to tap into the eleventh hour traveller market should ensure they are optimised for mobile and play to the booking curve.
David Hamblin, senior director of Market Management, Asia Pacific, for the Expedia group, said the data provided valuable insights for hotel operators on the importance of mobile and how this could impact their business.
“Mobile is a hot topic in our industry and it will continue to make a significant impact to the way consumers plan and purchase travel for years to come. It’s only logical to assume as more people access the internet via their mobile phones, more people will be shopping and purchasing travel from their mobile device. This is especially true of Asian travellers, many of whom are starting to travel overseas for the first time and are booking on mobile – bypassing the PC altogether.
“By constantly analysing our booking data, we are able to ensure we invest in the right technology to benefit our hotel partners, and we continue to focus on developing our mobile capabilities to meet the changing demands of global travellers. Mobile should be a key part of every hotelier’s distribution strategy,” he said.
The Expedia group also recently launched Sell Tonight, making it faster and simpler for hoteliers to push out same day rates and availability to spontaneous travellers, with the option to offer these special rates to mobile travellers, specifically.
Sell Tonight, accessible via Expedia PartnerCentral, informs hotels in real-time of same day rates in their market, providing them with the details they need to better compete and increase same day bookings.
Expedia Q1 2015 mobile booking data also revealed**:
- Singapore is the fastest growing Asian market for mobile demand of Australian hotels
Mobile bookings for Australian hotels with the strongest increase came from Singapore (190+%), followed by Korea (177+%) and Hong Kong (165+%).
- American travellers are taking advantage of the low Australian dollar
Q1 Expedia data revealed that American travellers have been taking advantage of the decline in the Australian dollar, with mobile bookings from the USA for Australian hotels showing triple-digit growth at 140+%. On average, an American traveller booking on a mobile device spent $25 more per night on their room than a domestic traveller.
- Australian travellers adopt mobile booking more quickly than Kiwis
When booking domestic travel, the data revealed there was a 90+% growth in Australian travellers booking hotels locally via a mobile device. This was in contrast with New Zealand travellers, where the growth in mobile bookings for domestic hotels was only 70%.
- Mobile is popular for weekend stays
More than 50 percent of mobile bookings for Australian hotels are made during the weekend.
The Expedia group invested US$686m (approx. AUD$875m) in technology during 2014. Most recently, the group announced new Apple Watch apps for Expedia.com, Hotels.com and Hotwire.