Lonely Planet Writer

Travel app usage continues to grow with 137m hits each month

If you find yourself making imaginary travel plans on your phone, booking luxury hotels and plotting out the trip of your dreams … then you are not alone.

Travel app usage continues to grow..
Travel app usage continues to grow. Image by Japanexperterna.se / CC BY-SA 2.0

New research has shown that travel apps – at least in terms of the time we spend looking at them – are the fastest growing category for mobile usage.

The research by Nielsen on US customers showed a reach of 137 million people for travel apps on phones or tablets each month.

And while search engines and social media still dominate time spent online, a growing amount of hours are being spent on travel.

Each month, the average user spent more than two hours a month using their travel apps, an increase of 40% over the course of a single year.

That was the fastest growing app usage category of all those examined, which showed the average person spent forty hours in total on apps each month.

Interestingly, while the time we are spending online rises – the number of apps that we actually use each month has remained relatively stable, and is currently 27.1.

Nielsen explained: “Despite rapid evolution throughout the marketplace, including new apps, additional device functionality and broadened device capabilities, the number of apps used has remained relatively stable since the end of 2012.”

Time spent using apps has grown by 77% during those same four years however, according to the research.

At the end of 2012, the average smartphone user spent 23 hours online each month but by the end of 2015, that had risen above forty.

Interestingly, there were also noticeable differences in the way that apps were used by men and women. On average, women use slightly more apps per month than men, and they also spend around three hours extra using them.

Age was also a significant factor with millennials aged 18-24 on their smartphone for 47 hours a month and those aged 65+ at around 24 hours.