Mobility in Travel: Mobile is Here, Mobile is Now!

In our first part of Mobility in Travel we discussed about how a traveller goes through various phases during his life as a traveller. Now let’s discuss some of the key trends travel industry is observing. And why the   travel industry needs to wake up to mobile.

61% of online travel companies surveyed in a recent global EyeforTravel poll do not have a mobile friendly website. 71% do not have a mobile app!

It’s no longer just a handful of customers looking for your brand via mobile — it’s millions. For the travel companies that are investing in mobile, experiences have been largely positive.

People rely more than ever on mobile technology to find and book travel reservations. A slew of stats from the Internet travel giant Expedia show just how much people plan their trips while already on the go.

More than 65% of people who book a hotel room within 24 hours of checking in do so from a mobile device, according to Expedia. More than 15% of travellers who book a flight 24 hours or less in advance do so via mobile. Both stats show how smartphones have given new power to the harried, last-minute travellers in recent years. Hotels with ratings between two and three stars are most commonly reserved via mobile devices, indicating that they’re likely the best (or most available) last-minute lodging option.

With this there is strong emergence of “Social Travel”! The influence of a shared Instagram photo, Facebook like, Foursquare check-in, Groupon daily deal purchase, tweet, TripAdvisor review, Pinterest pin or blog post is spreading to the far reaches of the world.

Travel is inherently mobile and  travellers  today are increasingly tapping into the entire digital ecosystem of data and services for a given destination. The motivation for developing an appropriate digital-marketing strategy should therefore be rooted in acquiring an understanding of how to engage with tech-savvy  travellers  at every stage of their travel experience.

When consumers read about a restaurant, they should be able to make reservations; when they read about a museum, they should be able to purchase tickets; and when they read about a historic site, they should be able to book a guided tour. What is too often missed is that actionable information can easily be converted into transactional revenue. Considering that these types of transactions are increasingly taking place on mobile devices, you can just imagine how much of this revenue potential is lost already!

Consumers are empowered to share their travel experiences in other highly visual, descriptive and influential ways. Those ways are digital, mobile and real-time. Offering an integrated social forum through which consumers can share their advice, sentiment and experiences, hand in hand with rich media (photos and videos) at every stage of the travel experience, could give rise to a potent new legion of global brand ambassadors.

 

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