Mobile Is An Essential Tool For Tourism Industry

3rd August 2012

The website identified the following emerging trends:

1.    Smartphones are here to stay

For online hotel booking firm, HotelTonight, the single biggest trend to emerge in 2012 will be the continued penetration of smartphones and the resulting shift of everyday activities from PC-based websites to the device in the customer’s pocket.

 “We believe the smartphone will become the new laptop and the resulting opportunities and challenges for businesses will be extreme,” says Jared Simon COO of HotelTonight.com. 

2.    M-Commerce is growing

It may still be a minority of smartphone users who are using their phones to transact, pay bills, shop and interact but this is changing as consumers become increasingly comfortable using their phone for commerce.

This trend will only continue. In May, online travel agency, Orbitz, reported that six million people used a mobile device to shop for travel, more than doubling numbers on the previous year. During the first quarter of the year, more than 9% of Orbitz hotel bookings were made via mobile devices.

3.   Growth in the merging of social, local and mobile

There is continued growth in social, local and mobile and while this is great news for travellers, the providers of travel should not forget that it presents several opportunities.

“It’s never been easier for people on the go to navigate a strange city and discover places, find merchants or a great meal while travelling,” says Chris Blakely, vice-president of client services at comScore, a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital business analytics.

4.    Discounting in the mobile channel is a mistake

“The most common mistake made by hoteliers today is discounting in the mobile channel, “says Max Starkov, President and Chief Exectuive of HeBS Digital, leading hotel Internet marketing and strategy consulting firm.

Starkov says organisations must avoid the temptation to discount, invest in their mobile website and mobile marketing to boost last-minute reservations and market their best available rates at the last-minute.

5.    Understanding what people want

“Services that take into account geographic, usage and other contexts, to know what users want before they actually do, are not too far off in mobile,” says Simon.

For Blakely the things to watch closely are multi-screen services that allow individuals to seamlessly move from phone to tablet to computer to TV and back again, providing cloud-based syncing of content, experiences and shopping carts.

Research from a number of different sources backs this up. IDC predicts that, by 2015, smartphone sales will reach 982 million and, according to Morgan Stanley, by 2014 mobile web users will surpass ‘traditional’ desktop Internet users.  A recent Airline IT Trends survey found that nine out of ten airlines were planning to sell tickets via mobile by 2015.

Sourced from Tourism Update

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