Study: Mobile Travel Sales Is Outpacing Overall Online Sales Big Time!

Young woman in hat with mobile phone at the beach

Performance marketing company Criteo has unveiled the findings of its first ever Asian Digital Traveller Report conducted by Euromonitor International.

The report highlighted that domestic travel increased by a compound annual growth rate CAGR of 6 per cent between 2011 and 2016, compared to 3.8 per cent for international travel.

The number of trips made by locals is expected to continue growing, with outbound and domestic trips expected to strengthen by a CAGR of 4.8 per cent and 7.2 per cent respectively by 2020.

The impact of mobile penetration on the travel industry was also uncovered in the report, with online travel sales forecasted to grow even further in the coming years. This includes nearly half (42 per cent) of Millennials preferring smartphones for online browsing of travel products or services, and mobile travel sales accounted for 25 per cent of all online travel sales in 2016.

Mobile travel sales (Criteo)

Commenting on the findings, Pressy Sankaran, commercial director of Criteo for Australia and New Zealand, said: “The Australian travel industry has seen significant growth in the last decade, so it’s no surprise domestic travel is the preferred way to getaway.

“The rise of online travel tools, affordable hotels, and accommodation sharing sites like Airbnb, has made local travel more affordable and easier to manage. Couple this with a falling Australian dollar and good weather, all of a sudden our local tourist attractions become even more desirable.

“We also found that tech-savvy Millennials primarily browse for travel packages and in-destination activities through their mobile phones and OTA mobile apps. With technology adoption on the rise and most businesses now offering a savvy mobile experience, mobile is clearly the platform of the future. Businesses should prepare now to make the most of the growing market.”

Convenience wins over price

The report found that Australian travellers seek convenience when it comes to booking, both on mobile and online. Nearly nine out of 10 (87 per cent) respondents said that convenience was their biggest deciding factor of how, when and why they booked their trip, compared to the 66 per cent of people who cited price as the driving force behind their purchases.

The convenience factors include ease of online shopping, speed, and the ability to compare prices across providers.

Mobile is the fastest-growing platform for browsing and purchases

According to the research, laptops and smartphones are equal when it comes to travel browsing, with each making up 34 per cent of all travel-related searches. However, this trend is set to change, with mobile travel sales growing by a CAGR of 52 per cent between 2011 and 2016, significantly outpacing that of overall online travel sales including sales from desktop and laptop, which grew by a CAGR of 11 per cent in the same period.

Criteo’s recent Digital Commerce & Marketing Outlook Report showed that people are increasingly willing to make large item and expensive purchases from their smartphones. The new research shows that travel purchases are included in this category, with 55 per cent of respondents willing to spend more than $800 when booking a single travel product or service via their smartphone.


According to the report, 51 per cent of Australian digital travellers are most influenced to visit a location by the attractions of their preferred destinations, travel website reviews and word of mouth.

This is consistent across age groups, with previous experience being the next largest factor (49 per cent), followed by specific dates and occasions (43 per cent).

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