NEW YORK — Tablet adoption is nearing 50 per cent among U.S. leisure travellers, triggering dramatic changes in online and travel shopping behaviour, reports PhoCusWright, a New York-based travel industry research firm.

“Tablets are having an impact on travel planning habits that goes far beyond simply adding one more device to the mix,” said Marcello Gasdia, PhoCusWright’s consumer research analyst. “Once a traveller purchases a tablet, we’re seeing their mobile web usage nearly double, with the mobile web accounting for 50 percent of time spent online. As the tablet-toting contingent of U.S. travellers continues to grow, the assumption that online travel planning usually means interacting via the desktop web may no longer hold true.”

According to PhoCusWright’s research, 44 per cent of travellers own a tablet, and an additional four in 10 plan to purchase one by the end of 2014. In addition, although most tablet owners also have a smartphone, they are more likely to rely on their tablet for destination selection, shopping and booking, making tablets a crucial element of mobile travel strategies in 2014.


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