OK Google: 27 percent of millennials use a smartphone to shop for hotels

Millennials are more likely to shop for flights and hotels on a smartphone, according to “Millennial Travelers: Mobile shopping and booking behavior,” a report released by Google this week. In fact, 41 percent of millennial travelers say they've used a smartphone to shop for flights while only 25 percent of people over the age of 35 years old said the same.

Similarly, 27 percent of millennial travelers said they used a smartphone to shop for hotels while only 19 percent of people over 35 years of age said the same. In general, millennials trust the flight and hotel information they find on smartphones: 66 percent of millennial travelers are confident they can find the same flight and hotel information whether they search on a mobile device or desktop computer. Only 43 percent of travelers over the age of 35 have this same confidence.

Perhaps because millennials trust travel information found on mobile devices, they are also are more comfortable planning and booking an entire trip via their smartphone. Two-thirds of millennials say they're comfortable doing so versus one-third of travelers over the age of 35. Most interesting to hoteliers is that 64 percent of millennials say they typically book a hotel room on a smartphone after shopping on one, while only 42 percent of those who are 35+ say the same.

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Earlier this year, Expedia Media Solutions’ "2016 Travelers Path to Purchase" study, 68 percent of millennials begin their travel planning online and close to half of U.S. millennials use their smartphones or tablets while travel planning. In the U.K. and Canada, millennials are more dependent on their mobile devices throughout the booking journey. Forty-nine percent of this U.K.-based demographic use their mobile phones in the travel purchase while 63 percent use their tablets. Canadian millennials have the highest tendency of the three geographic groups to use mobile devices for travel planning as 66 percent of millennials their phones in the process and 62 percent use their tables.

“Millennials use more resources to plan trips and on top of the heavy content engagement, they are also noticing ads across travel categories more so than travelers in other demographic groups,” said Matthew Reichek, VP, product and analytics, at Expedia Media Solutions. “From that, we can speculate that they may just be more open to engaging with content that’s relevant to their interests or booking needs. In addition, because millennials have grown up alongside native advertising –where the traditional boundaries between advertising and content are blurring—it’s quite possible that they are more inclined to treat advertising as just another form of content, underscoring the importance of relevant advertising messaging that best resonates and ultimately drives consideration with millennials.”

Related to millennials, 72 percent of millennials choose to spend more money on experiences than material items, according to the Huffington Post. According to internal research from Huffington Post company Topdeck Travel, more than three quarters (86 percent) of millennials would rather experience a new culture compared to 44 percent who prefer to party or 28 percent who prefer to shop.

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