Data[.]ai analyzes the increase in usage and downloads of travel apps

Despite inflation, the travel and navigation app downloads 25 % compared to the previous year, exceeds 1.4 billion worldwide from January to May 2022 as the travel season approaches

Recent analysis from data.ai shows that downloads of AirBnB, Booking.com and Expedia apps in the US doubled in the first week of May compared to the first week of the year as consumers plan their summer trips.

What happens

A recent data.ai analysis shows that the use of travel and navigation apps has grown steadily since January this year. It also shows an increase in app downloads year-on-year across the top 5 travel apps across 3 different app sub-genres – underscoring that US consumers are eager to travel regardless of travel issues.

In fact, more than 80 % of American adults plan to travel this summer. In addition, a study by the US Travel Association found that Americans spent $ 95 billion on travel in March 2022, or only 5 % lower than 2019 pre-pandemic levels, indicating that we are heading for a continued recovery in the sector.


According to data.ai’s App IQ, app downloads of the top 5 transport and navigation apps in the US topped 21 million in the first 18 weeks of 2022 compared to the top 18 weeks of 2021, an increase of 2 % despite small declines in Lift and Waze.

GasBuddy took the lead, tripling its downloads to nearly 2 million so far in 2022, an increase of 190 % compared to the previous year – which can probably be largely attributed to consumers’ reactions to the increase in the price of petrol. Nearly half of GasBuddy users were over 45, indicating concern among Gen Xere and baby boomers in the United States.

The airlines ‘apps experienced the largest percentage increase compared to the previous year (+54%), where the 5 best airlines’ apps all experienced a significant increase in downloads. The first airline application is United Airlines, which has 57 % of women and 53 % of users aged 25-44, or “ millennials The five best hotel booking apps and integrated travel services saw an increase of 34 % of downloads compared to the previous year, where number one in this category is VRBO.

Interestingly, the demographics of iPhone users in the United States reveal that VRBO is predominantly women (76) %) and 56 % of persons aged 25-44 years. Such data helps app publishers determine the demographics of users who are most engaged with an app, relative to those who require additional targeting. It is important to incorporate this into a relocation strategy in times of high seasonal demand.

why it matters

By looking at downloads and weekly active users of six selected travel and accommodation apps (Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, Hopper, Hotel Tonight and Kayak), data.ai found that inflation overall had no effect on consumers’ app activity. In fact, it is quite the opposite: among the selected apps, Booking.com has experienced the largest increase since the beginning of the year with an increase of 122 % in the form of downloads and 95 % in the form of WAU in the week starting on 1eh May 2022 of the week beginning January 2, 2022.


This indicates that people are in planning mode and preparing for long-awaited summer trips after years of Covid travel disruptions – and they’re looking for a good buy while doing so.

Hopper saw one of the first increases in download activity in February 2022, but Airbnb started picking up speed in late January to cut Expedia a bit in the week beginning January 1st.eh May 2022. Despite this, Expedia’s download growth is remarkable with an increase of 162 % in the first week of May 2022 compared to the first week of January 2022. Airbnb has been implementing a paid download campaign since the beginning of the year, and its investments have paid off: more than half of its iOS downloads in USA between January and March 2022 come from paid sources.

Even with rising inflation in the spring, weekly active users have steadily increased for Expedia, Booking.com and Hopper. These data, which highlight the fact that consumers are looking for travel and adventure despite unstable market conditions, suggest that app publishers should take advantage of this year’s travel season to reach consumers and create creativity in advertising to take advantage of latent travel desires. . Demographics gives travel app publishers additional insight into their current top consumers and who they should try to attract more.

Go deeper

Looking at weekly data for the same period ending May 8, 2022, data.ai found an increase in the total time spent on Android phones for each of the 6 apps, as well as an increase in average active days and retention users for 5 of the 6 applications.

Overall, data.ai’s analysis shows that consumers are eager to travel amid easing restrictions despite inflation concerns. The rise in GasBuddy downloads shows that consumers are still looking for ways to save money when traveling or commuting between home and work (instead of avoiding the trip altogether). Total time spent in Hopper increased by 142 % compared to the previous year, suggesting that consumers spend more time looking for ways to save money while still prioritizing travel.

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