Mobile bookings are on the rise and actually grow at an exponential rate. In the US, it is predicted that for 2015, a total of 12% of annual online travel sales are made through mobile which is an incredible amount and shows the great importance of mobile bookings for the tourism industry. This is applicable not only for the US but also other markets where mobile adoption and usage is already high and is being reflected in mobile bookings too. Travellers are already taking advantage of mobile to gather information and insights while on the go and the importance of mobile bookings will increase dramatically over the next years (TravelWeekly 2013).
MOBILE BOOKING AND INDUSTRY
The tourism industry is aware of the fact that mobile bookings are very important and many tourism businesses are prioritising mobile and mobile technology as essential areas to focus on especially with regards to getting travellers attention and drive download numbers, traffic and transactions. Currently, the hotel industry is the main industry sector within travel that focuses heavily on mobile bookings and transactions. This is particularly the case due to consumers wanting to book hotels in a very short booking window. Mobile is actually shortening this booking window even further.
Already, travel companies are benefiting from consumers taping into the opportunities that lie in mobile bookings. Hotels and other services can be booked at even shorter notice. Same-day or a day before trip reservation become more and more common and are no longer an exception but are becoming more of a rule. Apps such as Hotel Tonight also make hotel bookings on short notice much easier and convenient than ever before. Through the app, consumers can book a hotel for the same day in the city they stay in. The app only shows a selection of hotel rooms that are genuinely really good rates, limiting the choice and making decisions much easier. As a result, this year, around 12% of online bookings directly with hoteliers are expected through a mobile device.
Already, around 6% of airline reservations are made through a mobile device. This is actually quite good and a sign for a move towards direct online bookings through mobile. Airline tickets also provide great opportunities on mobile, as consumers are also looking to get hold of last minute airline tickets.
CONTENT AND MOBILE BOOKING
Besides providing technologies that facilitate mobile bookings, it is also the content that needs to be in place and created to facilitate consumers to book via mobile devices. Consumers looking to book via mobile devices such as tablets and Smartphones, are also increasingly searching throughout the devices. Tourism businesses need to meet the search demand by providing content and functionalities that enable consumers to book through their mobile in a fast, simple and easy way.
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