Skift Take

As Google threatens to give online travel agencies grief with its new Instant Booking product it can smile and say that it's on the right track as mobile search engine use keeps growing with leisure travelers.

Leisure travelers want to feel confident they’ve found the lowest price when they turn to search engines on mobile and desktop to compare travel.

Compiled from several data sources, Bing looked at how search engine usage among leisure travelers stacks up to brand sites and mobile apps. While search engines are more popular among leisure travelers who may not have loyalty status at hotels or airlines, hotel sites and mobile apps have a higher percentage of use than online travel agencies with this group. And leisure travelers’ use of search engines to research travel has increased across all sectors during the past year, great news for a titan like Google ramping up its new Instant Booking product.

Below are four charts showing the growth of mobile search for leisure travelers:

Chart 1: Mobile and desktop search engines are more popular for leisure travelers as they’re less likely than business travelers to have hotel or airline mobile apps for loyalty programs.

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Source: Bing

Chart 2: While brand sites on mobile and desktop and their apps are used more than search engines as the first resource for planning travel, the use of the latter has shown more growth during the past year while brand sites and apps have mostly decreased in usage.

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 6.51.31 PM

Source: Bing

Chart 3: There’s more variation in using hotel mobile sites and online travel agency mobile sites than for flight searches, with online travel agencies used more for same-day hotel searches and hotel mobile sites used a month or more out from a stay.

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 6.56.20 PM

Source: Bing

Chart 4: Leisure travelers book shorter trips than they actually search for.

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 6.57.04 PM

Source: Sojern

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Tags: leisure travelers

Photo credit: A tourist using his smartphone at the new 1 World Trade Center Observatory in New York City. Dan Peltier / Skift

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