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eMarketer paints a picture of the travel industry largely solving mobile booking issues by 2017, with one third of travel sales in the U.S. taking place on smartphones or tablets. Presumably most of it will be on tablets, though.

Mobile travel sales in the U.S. will reach $55.47 billion by 2017, accounting for one third of all digital travel sales in the country.

And mobile advertising in the U.S. will climb to $1.47 billion in 2014, crossing that one-third threshold, and making up 35.5% of all digital travel ad spending in the U.S.

Both forecasts come from digital research eMarketer’s Digital Ad Spending by Industry series, and highlight the influence of digital ad spending and digital bookings and sales in the travel industry.

On the mobile sales front, eMarketer forecasts that mobile travel sales in the U.S. will reach $26.14 billion in 2014, a 59.8% jump compared with 2013.

That number would reach $64.69 billion by 2018, which would be 37% of all digital travel sales in the U.S., the researcher states.

These trends show how travelers would go beyond doing research on smartphones and tablets as mobile bookings take hold.

In mobile ad spend, the U.S. travel industry is in the middle of the pack compared with other industries, eMarketer states.

eMarketer cited a study by The Search Agency which concluded that from the fourth quarter of 2012 through the fourth quarter of 2013 travel industry advertising “consistently had the highest click-through rates of any category measured.”

“The travel industry’s heavy investment in search  — and the increasing competition from other category advertisers such as metasearch websites like Kayak and hotel and airline suppliers is increasing cost per click,” eMarketer states. “The Search Agency study found the travel industry’s CPC rates were well above average [$1.72 in Q4 2013].

Only healthcare CPCs were higher, averaging $3.68 in Q4 2013, eMarketer states.

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Tags: advertising, booking

Photo credit: The travel industry is investing in mobile advertising at a dramatic clip. Pictured is an Expedia app. Expedia

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