Lonely Planet Writer

Research finds that travel app downloads are not as predictable as you might think

You could be forgiven for thinking that most people would download travel apps as they prepare for their summer holidays.

App downloads not as predictable as you might have thought
App downloads not as predictable as you might have thought Image by PhotoAtelier / CC BY 2.0

However, new research has revealed that even though the months of July and August may be high season for tourism … that does not necessarily mean high season for travel app downloads. YouAppi, a mobile technology firm, discovered that there was “tremendous variance” in when people were most likely to add travel apps to their mobile phone or tablet, depending on the part of the world they were from.

Different continents have different habits for downloading travel apps.
Different continents have different habits for downloading travel apps. Image by Chris Dlugosz / CC BY-SA 2.0

Across the three main continents covered, the most popular download months were totally different in Europe, the USA, and in Asia. In the USA, travel apps proved most popular in the period between November and January, with both Thanksgiving and Christmas considered the decisive factors. Across Asia, downloads peaked between September and November, most likely influenced by the National Day holiday period and Chinese New Year celebrations. It was only in Europe where app purchases and downloads coincided with summer, peaking during the months of June, July and August. The only exception to the rule was in France where app downloads were highest in December and were, in general, more evenly spread throughout the year.

YouAppi based their research on app campaigns, which ran across 62 different countries and included companies like Expedia, Hotels.com, Lyft and Gett. They explained: “Though summer is the peak travelling season, most trips are planned in advance and travel apps have been enhancing their functionality and usability in order to make them indispensable to travellers year-round. “Among Americans, the winter months are also peak seasons for travel to southern destinations like Florida and the Caribbean.” The use of travel apps by tourists is growing exponentially with between 20 and 30% of all travel bookings made in 2015 done via a mobile device. For same-day hotel bookings, the number carried out on mobile was 58%.