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Survey: Mobile Dominates Vacation Search Queries

Local SEO provider Placeable, which competes with a range of companies in the increasingly crowded national-local segment, has released new travel-related survey data (n=1,000).

The study’s findings, at least as presented, don’t tell an entirely coherent story about user behavior however. Basically the survey says that travelers rely heavily on search — mobile search in particular — and have different preferences depending on the category of business being sought.

Below are the top-level findings:

  • 71 percent of consumers use search engines for travel planning (another stat in the report puts the number at “four out of five”)
  • Just 26 percent use printed guidebooks and 14 percent use paper maps
  • On-vacation related search is conducted primarily on mobile devices (88 percent)
  • After arriving at a destination, 65 percent of travelers seek retailers and restaurants within 5 miles
  • Vacationers sometimes prefer national brands and sometimes other values trump brand (e.g., convenience, price)
  • Need-based spending favors brands; discretionary spending favors local businesses

Placeable adds that “bad experiences with brands while on vacation” can impact brand perception and consumer trust.

This finding is based on the notion of incorrect or inaccurate business listings. The company explains that roughly a third of people say that “a bad experience finding a national brand while on vacation would hurt their impression of the same brand at home.”

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