Travel Convention 2016: Bookings via mobile show surprise drop in Abta poll

Booking holidays via mobile phone is less popular than a year ago, according to a consumer survey by Abta.

The humble PC remains the most popular device on which to book holidays online, despite the growth in mobile and tablet sales.

The latest research by Abta found mobile phones were less popular for booking than they were a year ago, with 13% of people saying they had done so, down from 16% in 2015.

In contrast, 92% of consumers used a computer to book, while bookings via tablets, which saw a sharp increase in 2015, remained fairly flat, with 23% using them compared with 24% last year.

An increase in 35-54-year-olds using tablets was offset by a fall in 18-24-year-olds doing so.

People aged 25-34 were the least likely to use a PC but the most likely to use a tablet, with almost four in 10 (37%) doing so.

Asked how ‘easy’ they found it to book, 80% of respondents said they found it easy to book via desktop computer, 54% by tablet and 45% by mobile phone.

The research, carried out by Arkenford for Abta’s Holiday Habits Report 2016, surveyed 1,962 consumers.

It also found that even more respondents preferred to book online, at 76%, up from 69% last year. People aged 45-54 and those with older children were the groups most likely to book a holiday online with four out of five (82%) doing so. A fifth said they booked in-store and a similar number (21%) booked by phone.

Victoria Bacon, Abta director of brand and business development, said: “Mobiles are important to consumers during the research stage, but when it comes to booking, the mobile is clearly still lagging a long way behind the PC, and to a lesser extent tablets.

“Other research has shown consumers tend to prefer devices with larger screens when they’re paying larger sums of money, and our research supports this trend in the holiday market.”

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