UK surpasses US in mobile usage, says joint Comscore and Expedia data

Travel-booking website Expedia has completed a survey with research firm Comscore to compare the mobile travel buying habits of people living in the US and UK. The results show the UK mobile market is outpacing the US.

The highlights include: mobile now represents 30 per cent of all internet usage in the UK (including 18 percent from phones and 12 percent from tablets), compared to just 22 per cent in the US, though both Brits and Americans are more likely to use their mobile devices for entertainment versus travel booking.

Specifically, 57 per cent of the UK population now owns a smartphone, and 69 per cent of those smartphones access travel content online. Only 51 per cent of the US population now owns a smartphone, and 58 per cent of those smartphones access travel content online. Expedia also claimed travellers are increasingly using their mobile devices to conduct travel research.

Travel mobile app usage may be just one-quarter of mobile browser usage in the UK, but it grew by 127 percent year-over-year. Mobile browser site usage only grew seven per cent. But mobile numbers overall are expected to continue growing. Seven out of 10 survey respondents who had booked travel on mobile devices said they are likely to do it again.

Twenty-three per cent of all smartphone owners and 45 per cent of all tablet owners said they are likely to book travel using a mobile device within the next year, even though most bookings still take place on a computer. Survey respondents also said they are more likely to book hotels on mobile devices compared to booking flights.

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Although one in four UK travelers reported booking at least one component of their most recent trip on mobile devices, survey respondents indicated they are still slightly against booking on a mobile device simply because they are concerned about security. They also view screen sizes, mostly on smartphones, as a barrier.