Mobile was another big theme at No Vacancy Australia. No surprise there. But some of the findings and predictions were. For example, Greg Muller from Global Reviews predicted that mobile travel browsers will grow to 40% of all online traffic within two years. Others believe mobile will be the dominant platform by 2015.

Melanie Ingrey, Research Director at Nielsen, told the audience that laptops are now more prevalent than desktops among Australian consumers, while 50% of households had at least one tablet.

This surge has been reflected in bookings with 33% of “online consumers” buying travel via a tablet and 30% through a smartphone.

She said Android is now the dominant mobile platform, surpassing Apple’s iOS.

However, Apple consumers consume more. For now. This finding tallies with observations from travel retailers at events such as Travel Appy.

The thinking, unconfirmed, is that Apple users are early adopters that “love” (have an emotional connection!) with their devices whereas Android users get theirs as part of a phone plan.

Apple addicts are also more affluent.

Those in the industry are saying acquisition patterns will probably even up over time.

In terms of online usage patterns, Ms Ingrey said the biggest gains came during the traditional TV prime time when people are clearly multi-tasking.

Different devices for different times.

Katherine Birch Cole, Marketing Director at Hotels.com Australia NZ, believes mobile will be the dominant travel research and booking platform within two years.

Hotels.com has already been doing a lot in the space, and reports that mobile consumers are more receptive to marketing in that medium.

Rich content, she said, is especially worthy of investment.

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