It is no surprise that consumers are increasingly using mobile devices in their daily lives and also increasingly when travelling. With more and more marketers wanting to find out more about the consumption behaviour of travellers when it comes to travellers, research companies such as eMarketer are now more and more looking into this matter. For travel purposes, consumers refer back to their mobile devices while being on the go, so when travelling, consumers are using their mobile devices to share images or videos with their social networks and it is also used as a tool that can facilitate them at the destination. Maps, search engines and sites that can deliver local information are absolutely crucial for travellers worldwide. Mobile can in fact change experiences in a destination, hotel, attraction or restaurant. How can local marketers capture travellers with mobile services? This is a major question for tourism organizations worldwide (eMarketer 2013).
MOBILE DEVICES AND TRAVEL
When travelling, mobile devices are essential as it can enable travellers to search for information that is relevant for them in the destination. According to research from Nielsen, an average US mobile user averages 2.2 actions after searching for travel on mobile. This is astonishing, as only beauty and automotive actually lead to more action after conducting a mobile search. Clearly, travel has great potential, especially as most consumers when they are in a destination have not a clear idea of what they want to do or where exactly they want to go. Suggestions and recommendations are very well received by travellers in the destination, searching for local things through search engines.
When travellers are searching for local information, it is interesting to know that consumer seem to be preferring looking at familiar and more importantly trusted apps when searching for information. 43% of US travellers have travel apps and 30% have 2 or more travel apps. However, many tourism organizations mainly focus on providing apps that have booking facilities, but many hotels or other organizations actually do not offer any information that is location based and focused on travellers at a specific place. This is a major opportunity for tourism companies worldwide, as consumers will search for local information through their mobile devices. When looking at hotel apps specifically, 72% of these apps actually have room reservations as their major feature, followed by 50% of apps offering property search and 44% real-time feedback.
Besides offering apps that contain reservation and booking features, it is essential to also think beyond the purchasing process of a tourism product or service. Tourism organizations worldwide need to facilitate travellers while they are in a destination to guide them around. It is an opportunity to have features within an app that cater traveller needs as consumers will just search for another app that delivers local information and support. Rather than just providing an app, it is also about thinking increasingly local as a tourism organisation when taping into mobile.
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