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Mobile Bookings and Hotels

It’s a Mobile World: Most Travelers Use Mobile Devices for Booking Travel

New studies indicate that travelers are booking more travel on mobile devices than ever before.

One recent study showed that 52 percent of travelers booked their trips on either a smartphone or a tablet in the past 90 days.  It also found that many travelers rely on mobile devices to research upcoming trips, resulting in a cross-device journey that most often ends with laptops.

In addition, a new eMarketer report found that consumers are using smartphones to guide their travels from start to finish, whether that’s for last-minute bookings, connecting to destination-related information or seeking personalized recommendations.

One unique aspect of this study was that hoteliers are building out mobile solutions for booking, but have been slow to take advantage of smartphones as on-the-go travel guides.

For hoteliers embracing new mobile innovations to meet this emerging market demand, it is ideal to take a 360-degree developmental effort.  For example, new mobile apps can be developed that aggregate content about your properties and areas of interest within these destinations.  These apps can serve as the informational resource guides that will aid any traveler either before or during their trip.

From a mobile booking perspective, the most cutting-edge innovations are designed to minimize any friction – a 360-degree frictionless experience — and make the path to booking smooth and seamless.  This involves a more simplified design approach with the fewest clicks, and avoiding cumbersome interfaces for inputting credit card information.   In addition, mobile apps play a key role in launching mobile browser sessions, which can aid overall search engine visibility and eliminate the cost of development across various device ecosystems.

As mobile requirements change every 6-8 months with the launch of new iOS and Android platforms, it is no simple endeavor to keep up with today’s mobile hospitality world.

However, if hospitality providers build out aggressive development cycles to meet these new requirements, it is possible to stay ahead of the curve and meet all of the unique needs of today’s mobile traveler.

 

Bisnow Lodging Investment Summit Brings Out Brightest Stars in Hospitality

Without a doubt, the Washington DC area has become the cornerstone for the hospitality industry — with Marriott, Hilton and Choice Hotels, as well as many lodging investment players, calling our region home.

So, it was no surprise that the folks at Bisnow Media were able to pull off a spectacular national event that drew together the “who’s who” of the hospitality sector at its Bisnow Lodging Investment Summit (BLIS) on May 9-10 at the Ritz Carlton in Tyson’s Corner.

We had the unique pleasure of attending BLIS, which brought together 500 industry players to hear 32 speakers discuss the future of the hospitality industry. Some of the highlights included Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s new CEO, providing his vision for doubling the hospitality provider’s overseas portfolio, as well as political pundit Tucker Carlson’s enlightening and entertaining speech on the state of politics and what to expect from the upcoming Presidential election.

The event also showcased some of the challenges that the industry faces, such as what will happen to RevPAR as consumer confidence continues to decline, as well as managing growth in a global economy that is still in a state of turmoil.

At NetLink, we have always believed that the best way to enhance growth, in even the most challenging of economic climates, is to ensure that all IT investments support business growth. For example, be sure to check out this case study about how Marriott International developed its online gift card effort, which resulted in $35 million in additional revenue.

As the lodging sector continues to move forward, it is exciting to see that the industry is coming up with unique strategies for business growth. And, plenty of opportunities still abound for those selling solutions to hospitality providers.

Posted by: Diann Turner, Director, Business Development, NetLink Resource Group