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Travel aggregator app downloads are returning close to pre-pandemic levels [Credit: iStock]

Travel app downloads reach 143m installs in Q2

Worldwide: The travel app category reported strong year-on-year growth rates in Q2, with vacation rental apps leading the way in the recovery of the accommodation sector post-pandemic. 

With the vaccination and infection rates rising and dropping simultaneously, travel app downloads reached 143 million installs during the second quarter. Overall downloads were up by 104 per cent on the same period last year, while installs on Google Play and Apple’s App Store shot up by 14 per cent compared to the first half of 2020, according to mobile App Store marketing intelligence platform Sensor Tower.

The Covid-19 outbreak proved to have a significant impact on the number of downloads of travel aggregator apps, including vacation rental apps, hotel booking apps and full-service travel aggregators, with people required by law to stay at home during lockdowns and unable to make travel plans with the uncertainty hanging over them.

However, by this summer, these travel aggregator apps have seen downloads returning close to pre-pandemic levels.

Vacation rental apps led the accommodation category recovery this summer, with Airbnb notably surpassing six million installs between January and August 2021, and user adoption reaching its peak in the year so far in July with 1.2 million downloads.

Meanwhile, Booking.com, which aggregates a range of lodging options from hotels to holiday homes, apartments and other types of alternative short-term accommodation, secured almost three million downloads in Europe in July 2021, representing an all-time high even exceeding the highest points during the summer months before the pandemic emerged.

Between January and August 2021, Booking.com reported an average of 1.7 million downloads per month, ahead of competitors such as TripAdvisor, Trivago, Skyscanner, Tutu.ru and Aviasales, which collectively saw an average of 267,000 installs per month in that time.

It is expected that the relaxation of foreign travel restrictions between the US, the UK and the rest of Europe over the coming months will provide further opportunity for travel aggregator apps to continue enhancing their user adoption rates and securing more downloads as travellers forge new plans for the year ahead.

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