The year 2013 has been so far the most important year in the history of mobile phone sales as 50 per cent of handsets sold have been smartphones. Having constant internet access from a phone has changed consumers’ habits and it is the travel industry that has experienced this transformation most directly.
According to a recent study from BI Intelligence, there are several factors that are influencing customers’ behaviour, which should be taken into account by all tourism industry suppliers:
- 32 per cent of smartphone users make travel arrangements using their device, supporting the theory that, in the near future, the number of online sales made via mobile phones could exceed the sales made by traditional means.
- Mobile devices have changed the overall travel experience of consumers. Starting with the moment they book a flight or hotel using the phone, tourists become fully immersed into the variety of networks, which allow them to share their travel experience sociallly, such as Instagram or Pinterest. Finally, they are able to publish their comments and ratings on review sites such as Tripadvisor or Holidaycheck.
- All tourism suppliers are already preparing to meet this growing demand for online purchases through smartphones and consequently are developing specific applications for these devices. Thus, the large online travel agencies such as Booking, Expedia, Orbitz and HRS have designed their own mobile applications. There are also some recently created apps, which content is only available to smartphone operating systems such as Blink, Verylastroom or Hotel Tonight.
- In relation to these newly created applications, the most successful ones are those that offer users the possibility of making last-minute hotel reservations. Some recent studies made by Orbitz and Expedia reveal that about 70 per cent of bookings that come through smartphones were made within 24hs prior to hotel arrival.
In conclusion, all statistics indicate that travel industry is experiencing tremendous changes due to new technologies appearing on the market. They are being frequently used by potential clients and therefore the industry should be aware of any changes in their costumers’ behaviour.
This blog post has been written by Elisenda Molina, e-commerce manager at Abba Hotels. For more information, please visit www.abbahotels.com.
Sources: http://www.puromarketing.com/21/15302/moviles-como-dispositivos-moviles-estan-transformando-mercado-viajes.html; http://www.celularis.com/mercado/smartphones-en-el-mundo/