UK & World News
Mac Users Pay More For Hotels On Travel Site
A leading US online travel agency has developed software programme that lists more expensive hotels in search results for Mac users - because research shows they spend more money than those on PC owners.
Research by Orbitz found that fans of Apple equipment were likely to outlay 30% extra on hotel rooms, and developed the algorithm to list different and costlier hotels and room tariffs.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the system is part of a wider data mining project of online usage of seemingly innocuous information to help predict spending habits and tastes.
It said the system has evolved since boss Barney Harford, a former Expedia executive, headhunted statisticians from eBay and Google to create a new analytics team.
The team also discovered some innovative and design-led hotels were far more likely to be booked by Mac users than those on Microsoft's Windows systems.
"We had the intuition, and we were able to confirm it based on the data," Orbitz chief technology officer Roger Liew said.
He added that some other factors have been identified in influencing choices, including user location, previous site history, along with any promotions and hotel popularity.
Apple users are known as being keen on design and are willing to pay extra for innovative technology, such as with the premium-priced iPad tablets.
According to consumer research by Bizrate Insights, many tablet owners spend 28% more than non-tablet users and their average household income is 55% higher, at $109,700 (£70,200).
Marketers are also looking at desktop computer spending linked to brands, as although only 9% of computers are Macs in the US, the average household income of their owners is 32% higher, at $98,560 (£63,000).
Orbitz, the newspaper said, intends to examine if Mac users also have identifiable preferences for car rentals and airline flights.