European travellers still to take the leap from computer to phone for travel bookings

Ten years on from the debut of the very first iPhone, and with smartphone ownership still on the rise, recent research from Phocuswright shows that while smartphones are increasingly being used to research destinations, travel itineraries and accommodation etc, most travellers in Europe still switch to the desktop to finalise their plans.

The The European Smartphone Traveler in 2017 report from the company, a leading provider of data, information and analysis in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, shows that while the near ubiquity of mobile has led to enormous expectations about mobile booking in travel, it is evident that not everyone has embraced the switch from point-and-click to touch-and-swipe for the entire travel planning journey.

It is clear that smartphones are among the easiest devices for consumers to use, and are clearly a big hit when it comes to travel shopping in France, Germany, and the U.K. However, there remains quite a gap when it comes to actually making purchases. Even a decade after one of the most influential consumer gadgets hit the market, the capabilities of mobile still don’t quite stack up for European travel purchases, according to the Phocuswright report.

Its research shows the top five travel-related activities performed on smartphones are all associated with research-related activities: exploring destinations to visit, pricing flights and hotels for a trip, and checking out specific restaurants and activities to do while in-destination.

However, its findings show that actual flight and hotel bookings are over five times as likely to be made on desktop and laptop computers. Some travellers are likely turned off by the small screen size and limited keyboard functions available on smartphones. And for the majority of travellers who don’t travel very often, booking and purchasing from their desktop computers may be a more comforting experience for that big annual trip, according to Phocuswright.

CHART – Phocuswright asked almost 3,000 respondents across France, Germany and the UK which of the following travel-related activities you have done using your smartphone or tablet in the past 12 monthsSource: Phocuswright – European Traveler Technology Survey 2017