The hospitality industry could be missing out on valuable business on mobile devices, according to a new study that found airlines lead when it comes to advertising spend.
A Mobile Intel Series for Travel report compiled by Millennial Media and ComScore found 83% of travellers access hotel content while mobile.
However, hotels only accounted for 13% of spend on the channel in travel, compared to airlines which were the biggest advertiser.
The report found hotels were the biggest category for purchases on mobile – with 67% of users saying they book rooms on mobile and 64% on tablets.
Next was flights on 49% for both types of hand-held device and then car rental followed by train and bus.
Top activities in the flights sector on mobile were checking prices and schedules (50%), checking-in (46%) and picking up flight status alerts (39%).
For hotels it was comparing prices and availability (57%), directions (55%) and reading reviews (51%).
Globally in 2013 travel ranked seventh in terms of verticals spend on mobile behind entertainment, retail, telecommunications, finance, consumer goods and automotive.
The Millennial Media/ComScore report identifies eight sub-sectors within travel that have invested in mobile advertising.
Behind airlines was booking sites and apps, tourism and amusement parks, with hotels fifth ahead of ground transportation, cruises and casinos and racetracks.
Airlines accounted for just under a third of all spend, booking sites 22% and hotels just 11%.
Zac Pinkham, managing director, EMEA, of Millennial Media, said: “The high percentage of travellers and the number of activities being performed while traveling is evidence that mobile travellers are highly engaged with their devices while on the go.
“Consequently they expect a mobile-friendly experience when accessing travel content. Seamless integration across devices, such as saving account information, mobile boarding passes, and consolidated itineraries gives travellers everything they need to stay connected on the go, which in turn helps attract, engage, and retain loyal mobile travel consumers.”
Demographic data on the mobile travel audience revealed they tend to be aged between 24 and 44 and 60% are male.
In travel the vast majority of the audience owns a smartphone (92%) and 51% owns a tablet, both significantly more than the overall mobile audience.
The mobile travel audience also tends to be affluent with 61% earning more than $61,000 a year.
The findings of the study came from observations across Millenial Media’s global platform of tens of thousands of mobile ad campaigns.