Overall number of hotel bookings on mobile devices still low

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China has topped a list of nations for booking hotels using smart phones and tablets, followed by the US, Japan and Europe.

A survey by tourism consultancy IPK International revealed that 4% of people in China use their smart phones or tablets to make hotel reservations.

The USA, Japan and Europe followed with 2% of people in each country claiming to use their mobile devices to make hotel bookings.

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No other country surveyed reached more than 1%, according to the report. IPK International president Rolf Freitag commented on the findings at the 21st World Travel Monitor Forum in Pisa, sponsored by ITB Berlin, saying that overall the number of bookings being made by mobile devices was relatively low.

“When booking their international trips with smartphones and tablets, [travellers] do a quick search and act spontaneously. 70% of hotel bookings made via smartphone are decided on within 24 hours,” he added.

Worldwide, the Chinese are also ahead when it comes to using social media for travel information with 95% of those polled saying they made use of Skype, blogs and Facebook when preparing for trips.

Europe lagged behind, with 39% of European respondents saying they made no use of social media for making travel arrangements. In Japan 48% of those polled made no use of social media, while in the USA 35% declared their “abstinence”.

By contrast, Brazilians showed a keen interest in Facebook and other social networking sites. Nearly a quarter (24%) of those polled said they made frequent use of social media for researching trips, while 60% said they made sporadic use of blogs, travel forums and Facebook.

Worldwide, 65% of travel bookings are made via the internet and 24% are made through travel agencies.

Further results of the January to August 2013 trend surveys conducted by IPK International will be published by ITB Berlin. Detailed information will be available in the ITB World Travel Trends Report in early December at www.itb-berlin.com.

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