Mobile Minute

Mobile Minute: Summer Spurs 30% Growth in Travel Apps

Lexi Sydow

Global consumer spend in travel apps show 30% growth in summer months compared to 3 months prior — a bright spot for the industry’s road to recovery.

What’s Happening: 

While the travel industry has struggled amid pandemic restrictions, slow re-openings throughout the summer show positive signs of an industry comeback.  With consumers eager to book local getaways and plan future trips, consumer spend within travel apps increased year over year this summer, seeing apps such as accommodations, navigation and transportation impacted by the surge. 

Mobile data is critical to monitoring how this industry is rebounding from COVID-19, with mobile apps acting as leading indicators and reflections of consumer behavior. Increased demand within sectors of travel indicates which mobile features to prioritize, what areas of opportunities exist for product development, and when marketing, user acquisition and partnership strategies should launch to tap into this demand early. 

Why It Matters:
Between the months of June - August 2020, the United States and European regions in particular have seen an acceleration in both consumer downloads and spend within travel apps compared to the 3 months prior — indicating that the normal seasonality we would expect to see has surpassed tempering from COVID-19 containment tactics.  Consumer spend has also increased during this time period among the travel apps category — especially in the US (+30%), UK (+30%), Germany (+55%), France (+75%), Italy (+65%) and China (+25%).  

growth in travel apps downloads spend after covid summer 2020

In the United States, private home rentals have grown in popularity. For example, VRBO has seen monumental growth in downloads this summer — marking a 120% growth between June — August, 2020 compared to the three months prior. Additionally, Trainline was among the breakout travel apps this summer in the UK — experiencing a 105% growth in downloads over the same time period.

Top apps show consumer interest in accommodation, travel planning and map/navigation features as COVID-19 travel bans begin to ease and consumers seek vacation opportunities. While popularity among driving companion apps (e.g. Speedbot in the US and park4night in Germany and France) may mean more people are driving, Ryanair was the only airline to peak in these rankings likely due to travel within the European bubble. 

top travel apps by growth in time spent summer 2020

Go Deeper:

While the road to recovery may just be beginning for travel companies impacted by the pandemic, these trends show increasing interest among consumers and a willingness toward spending. As mobile usage increases and regional pandemic guidelines remain dynamic, apps will be an important channel for the travel industry to communicate with prospective customers and ensure the delivery of safe, reliable service. Travel companies should leverage this time to monitor movement in mobile data to tap into early consumer demand for travel apps, identify key mobile feature updates and put their best foot forward to beat the competition as the industry recovers. After all, mobile offers unparalleled reach, personalization and engagement with consumers — occupying 27% of waking hours each day for the average smartphone owner. 

For more information on the impact of the pandemic on the mobile economy, please read our latest report: How COVID-19 Has Changed Consumer Behavior on Mobile Forever

To hear more from our panel of mobile experts on the impact of coronavirus on the mobile economy, view our webinar on-demand

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This post is the latest in a Mobile Minute series that features App Annie’s perspective on how mobile is impacting current events and consumer trends. Check in weekly for our take on the latest news cycles and how mobile transformation is shaping industries around the world.


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September 16, 2020

Mobile Minute

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