Now that the summer travel season is officially over, it's official: this past summer saw a boom in the numbers of Americans tapping into broadband for trip-planning purposes. A recent Nielsen study demonstrates the explosive growth of smartphone usage for travel. For instance:
- Travel apps were used more than mobile sites. In fact, 95% of U.S. Android and iOS users reported accessing travel apps for information, compared with a mere 5% who used the mobile web.
- Nielsen found that seven out of the top 10 travel apps in June 2012 featured map/navigation functionality. In keeping with this trend, Google Maps took the top spot both as an app and a mobile website - taking up a whopping 78% of all travel-related mobile time.
- Sites such as TripAdvisor, Priceline, Expedia, and Hotels.com were among the most consulted mobile travel websites.
- Interestingly, what consumers were researching changed how they searched. Those seeking cruise information predominantly spent time surfing the mobile web, and individuals focused on “travel destinations/theme parks” accessed both apps and the mobile web about equally.
Given the demand for travel-related apps, there's no doubt there will be many more Internet-driven resources to come. In the meantime, For now, check out CNN’s list of the ultimate 50 travel apps to help you plan your next trip.