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Priceline: 42pc of consumers waited until 5 p.m. to book New Year’s Eve mobile travels

By
January 30, 2013

Almost half of mobile-equipped travelers waited until after 5 p.m. to book their New Year’s Eve hotel, pointing to the growing trend of last-minute bookings, according to a recent study by Priceline.

Additionally, 65 percent booked their rooms after 2:00 p.m. and 13 percent waited until after 9:00 p.m. to make their reservations. This is evidence that consumes are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to make last-minute bookings, even during important holidays.

“The key, and most surprising, is the percent that booked after 5 p.m.,” said Brian Ek, a spokesman for Priceline.com.

“Our previous studies had only asked for same day bookings, which is a broader spectrum,” he said.

Mobile bookings
According to the Priceline.com study, the data reinforces that travelers with mobile devices are more prone to make their reservations at the last minute, often after they have arrived in their destination city.

Furthermore, more companies are rolling out travel applications to better accommodate this demographic.

For this study, Priceline.com reviewed bookings made through its iPhone and Android app, as well as its Tonight-Only Deals service app.

The New Year’s Eve study looked at which destinations were the most successful in pulling in procrastinating revelers, and where these mobile consumers found the biggest room savings.

Priceline.com found that Las Vegas Strip, Downtown Chicago, Houston Galleria, Downtown San Francisco, Downtown Boston, Chicago’s Grant Park, Atlanta’s Midtown/Downtown Area, Dowtown Minneapolis, Downtown Denver and Downtown Seattle were the top last-minute New Year’s Eve destinations for mobile-equipped travelers.

The company found that savings, which were substantial in some cities, could have been a driver for close-in New Year’s Eve bookings.

Mobile consumers used the Tonight-Only Deals feature within the app to book their New Year’s Eve rooms and saved an average of 53 percent in San Francisco, 52 percent in Las Vegas, 41 percent in Seattle and 37 percent in Chicago.

Growing trend
Mobile and travel complement each other and more consumers are turning to their smartphones and tablets rather than their PC device.

In addition, last-minute apps, especially those that help consumers save money, are getting prominent real estate on a user’s home screen.

“Mobile bookings for travel should grow as we move through 2013,” Mr. Ek said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at rimma@mobilemarketer.com.

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