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Are Game Consoles the Next Hot Device for Travel Bookings?

@denschaal

Jun 05, 2014 12:30 pm

Skift Take

Travel companies that want to attract Millennials and teens may now have to consider game consoles among their platform-development priorities. This brings new meaning to the concept of a killer (i.e. Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto) app.

— Dennis Schaal

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An Adobe Digital Index report found that gamers are starting to book travel on Xbox, PS4 and other consoles. Getty Images


Enter Xbox One and PS4 — game consoles could be an up-and-coming platform for travel bookings.

An Adobe Digital Index report on U.S. summer travel forecasts that game console travel bookings would grow 60% year over year between Memorial Day and Labor Day 2014, outpacing tablets (48%), but far behind smartphones (121%).

“PCs are still the most common way of booking, but given huge holiday sales of PS4 and Xbox One, gaming consoles have now entered the fray,” the Adobe Digital Index states.

“The number of access points to online travel bookings is expanding all the time,” the report states. “Websites now have to support PC, tablet, smartphone and gaming devices.”

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To be sure, game consoles command less than 1% — actually 0.04% — of U.S. online travel bookings, but that share is expected to rise, and travel brands will have to consider supporting a new platform in game consoles.

Not everyone agrees with the gaming console trend, however.

“I’m not aware of this being a significant trend,” says David Dennis, an Xbox spokesperson. “We have Internet Explorer on the Xbox, but candidly I don’t think this is something that is a trend.”

“Most people don’t have keyboards connected to their Xbox, although it is possible,” Dennis said.

When it comes to gaming consoles as they relate to travel, it isn’t all about travel bookings, however.

The Adobe Digital Index states that game consoles and Over the Top Devices (i.e. Internet TV) “continue to be the fastest growing device for online video with a 123% year-over-year increase (through January 2014).”

In addition, the report found that online video consumption rose 57% on smartphones and tablets year-over year- through the first quarter of 2014.

Looking at summer travel trends in the U.S., the Adobe Digital Index forecasts that online travel spending will rise 15% to $61 billion this summer.

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Airlines (28%) were the fastest-growing travel sector in April 2014, followed by online travel agencies and car rental companies (both 25%), and then hotels (23%).

The report also found that online travel agency bookings on smartphones outpaced tablet bookings since January 2013, 110% versus 64%.

The same pattern was true for mobile bookings directly with hotels. Hotel bookings on smartphones rose 114% since January 2013 compared with 36% on tablets, the report found.

The report’s findings are based on 33 billion visits to Adobe Analytics brand sites from 2012 to 2014, and is based on information on more than 1,300 travel websites.

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