June 27, 2016

Digital Audiences Bloom in Warmer Months for Seasonal Travel Categories

Adam Lella
Senior Marketing Insights Analyst

Summer has officially arrived, and many consumers across the U.S. are finalizing their seasonal travel plans or have already embarked on their summer vacations. With school out of session and the weather more pleasant, summer nearly always tends to see a boost in travel activity. Interestingly, consumers’ online activity reflects this ‘real-life’ behavior quite accurately, as we see an increase in visitation to travel sites every year between the months of April and July. These are the late months of spring and early months of summer when people are ready to reward themselves after a long winter or simply get away at a convenient time for their families.

While travel trends are naturally seasonal, there are also long-term consumer shifts in behavior that are occurring in this sector. Digital is becoming increasingly important to travel planning at all stages of the process. More people are using online services to conduct their initial research of a destination, find activities to do while there, read reviews from fellow travelers, and ultimately book their flight and hotel reservations. According to comScore Media Metrix® Multi-Platform, unique visitors to all Travel sites have increased 39% over the last three years, representing 47 million additional people to the digital category.

However, the behavior shift isn’t just from offline to digital. There’s also a shift occurring within digital, from desktop to mobile. Smartphones and tablets are increasingly important to the Travel category, especially when it comes to visitation. In fact, there are now more visitors to travel sites on mobile devices than there are on desktop computers. But we should not dismiss desktop entirely, as it still plays a key role for a category that often requires more detailed research to drive an eventual commerce transaction. Performing these online activities is actually preferred on desktop given its larger screen size, ease of navigation between web browser tabs and lower security concerns than mobile when purchasing online.

This helps explains why desktop still sees higher levels of engagement, in terms of time spent, than mobile in the Travel category. It makes sense that users might rely on mobile for gathering information and planning on-the-go, while desktop remains the preferred platform for finalizing plans and purchasing.

For more digital media insights into the Travel category and other content categories, contact us at www.comScore.com/learnmore.

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