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Over half of Brits research holidays on handheld devices

Jul 14 2014 Posted by Samantha Marsh

Majority still book on desktop - but not for long

53% access site via mobile or tablet

39% book via mobile or tablet

Specialist predicts 50% of bookings on mobile or tablet within 12 months

Over half of UK holidaymakers are comfortable researching their outdoor accommodation on their mobile device, according to statistics just released by sector leader Pitchup.com.  Figures released by the specialist, which launched a mobile site in October 2013, show there is a clear bias towards researching on mobile devices, but the majority continue to use a desktop to complete their holiday booking.

The new figures* show: 

  • 53% of visits on Pitchup.com now come via a mobile phone or tablet device (2013: 39%)

  • 61% of customers book on a desktop (2013: 75%)

  • 39% of customers book on a mobile or tablet (2013: 25%), of which

    • 24% book on tablet device (2013: 18%)

    • 15% book on mobile (2013: 7%) 

Other booking habits revealed by Pitchup.com: 

  • Sunday most popular for tablet

  • Monday most popular for desktop and mobile

  • Average stay on mobile is 2.8 nights, compared to 3.4 nights on desktop

  • Average stay on mobile is booked 36 days before departure, versus 47 for desktop

Dan Yates, founder of Pitchup.com, said: “Over the past nine months we’ve seen high triple-digit growth in visits and bookings on handheld devices, particularly mobile phones. Even though most customers still book and pay on their desktop, it appears desktop dominance is doomed: we predict that by summer 2015 more people will book on handheld devices than on desktops.”

Yates bases this prediction on recent trends: “Handheld devices have increased their share of bookings by 14% over the last year after a 15% increase the previous year. If the trend continues over the coming 12 months, the fate of the desktop in favour of more convenient mobile devices is sealed.”

Yates added: “We appear to be in the vanguard of the outdoor holiday sector when it comes to mobile bookings, but recent research from comScore** suggests that 42% of UK consumers were ‘multiscreening’ - using desktops, mobiles and tablets - when visiting travel sites.”

As to why people use multiple platforms, Yates said: “Some customers regard handheld devices as less secure than their desktop, or prefer to look at their holiday choices on a larger screen: research in 2013 by Google showed that 46% were sceptical about credit card security on mobile devices, and 36% thought screen sizes too small***. However, given the frenetic pace of innovation in mobile, we predict these concerns will die down.”

Pitchup.com’s statistics show that whilst iPhones and iPads are still the most popular devices in their respective categories, Android mobiles and tablet usage is growing fast.

Yates said: “We’ve seen a 153% increase in visitors to our site from seven-inch Android tablets - including the Tesco Hudl - and a 105% increase from 10-inch Android tablets.  While iPads comfortably lead the tablet sector, our figures show that just over half of our mobile visitors use iPhones. With such a small margin, we could easily see Android overtake iPhone in the mobile category by next summer.”

Yates continued: “The stats also show that, contrary to popular belief, mobile isn’t all about the last minute. While mobile bookings are made later than desktop - 36 days on average before departure versus 47 - last-minute bookings only make up a minority of mobile bookings, showing that mobile is substituting other devices for many types of holidaymaker.”

Pitchup.com has been at the forefront of developing technology since launching in 2009 and most recently invested in a new system to streamline online payments.  The company is a consistent sector leader and in October last year becoming the first outdoor accommodation provider to offer a bookable mobile app and site.  The company has also been recognised professionally, having earlier this year won Best Travel / Leisure / Sports / Mobile Strategy / Campaign at the Marketing on Mobile Awards 2014.

For more information visit www.pitchup.com.  

* Statistics based on traffic to Pitchup.com in June 2014 versus June 2013, except where indicated
** UK Travel Consumers Go Mobile, comScore, May 2014 (http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Data-Mine/UK-Travel-Consumers-Go-Mobile)
*** Our Mobile Planet, Google, 2013 (http://think.withgoogle.com/mobileplanet/en-gb/downloads/)

-ends-

For media information

Cass Helstrip, Samantha Marsh or Rob Bates at White Tiger PR

Cass.helstrip@whitetigerpr.com 07968 255464

Samantha.marsh@whitetigerpr.com 07711 265666

rob.bates@whitetigerpr.com 07957 316491

About Pitchup.com

Founded in 2009 by former lastminute.com man, Dan Yates, multi-award winning Pitchup.com is a free guide to all types of outdoor accommodation in the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Croatia, Luxembourg, Austria, Poland and Switzerland.  Pitchup.com, which currently lists over 5,800 sites, provides users with a simple platform in which they can search and book an outdoor holiday with total ease: the customer experience from landing on the homepage through to booking a holiday can be

completed in as little as four pages.  The site also goes beyond traditional searches by allowing users to search for accommodation based on more than 80 criteria, such as adults only and campfires allowed, and view nearby events, Good Pub Guide pubs and VisitBritain attractions.  It’s also possible to check out water bathing water quality in the surrounding area with data provided by the European Environment Agency.  Users can also search on the offers page to find the best deals available.

In 2013 Pitchup.com became the first business of its type to launch a bookable mobile site and app, making the site easily accessible to users of iPhones and other mobile and tablet devices.  The mobile site, m.pitchup.com, now accounts for 15% of bookings.

Pitchup.com enables users to search for all types of parks and sites from the major brands right through to one-off campsites and unique outdoor accommodation options, which may not have previously had a web presence.

Awards include Best UK Travel Website of the Year at the British Travel Press Awards 2011, and most recently best Travel / Leisure / Sports / Mobile Strategy / Campaign at the Marketing on Mobile Awards 2014.