Although summer is typically regarded as a peak travel season, new research from YouAppi shows that it isn't necessarily the biggest time of the year for travel app downloads in the U.S. and Asia.
The mobile platform provider recently examined campaigns for 45 leading international travel apps operating in 62 countries, including Lyft, Expedia and Hotels.com. Researchers determined that travel app downloads actually peak in November and continue on through January in the U.S.
In Asia, the most downloads occurred between September and November. Europe was the only place where travel app downloads increased during the summer months of June, July and August.
"With travel apps seeking to emulate the most successful and used apps — like Facebook, YouTube, Google Search and Pandora — which are used on a regular and continuous basis, we're seeing travel apps broadening their range of content and offers and marketing their apps for year-round usage," said Eyal Hilzenrat, YouAppi's vice president of Products and Partnerships.
YouAppi attributes its data to a few known trends. In the U.S., for example, travel tends to increase during the holidays. In Asia, the Chinese New Year encourages travel during a similar time of the year. Although summer vacations are common, most people plan these trips well in advance. This means that there is less of a spike of travel app downloads during the actual season.
It's also worth noting that many travel companies are now delivering their services via existing mobile apps and social media platforms, such as Facebook. KLM, the Dutch airline, is one example of a business turning to a third-party app. Travelers can now receive everything from flight confirmations to status updates through the Facebook Messenger app.
"We believe we should be where our customers are, and therefore Messenger and KLM are a good fit," said Pieter Elbers, president and CEO of KLM. "Our customers feel comfortable sharing info with us via a more personal platform like Messenger."
For an airline like KLM, which has 15 million fans on its Facebook page, it makes sense to move to a third-party application for integration. That being said, the opportunity for travel companies to expand on these platforms will undoubtedly continue to increase. About 28 percent of respondents between the ages of 35 and 49 are likely to seek opinions via social media while travel planning.