September 09, 2013

Travelers seek out local info via mobile

According to comScore data, nearly two-thirds of local business searches for hotel and travel information are nonspecific, suggesting that people looking for travel information on the local level are seeking suggestions, rather than particular information about something they’re planning to do.

Having that information available via mobile search is imperative, and research from Compete, Inc. found that travelers are apt to look to trusted apps when it comes to making in-destination decisions. According to a January 2013 survey, 43% of US smartphone users had travel apps, and 30% had two or more such apps.

Despite the opportunity that hotels and other travel marketers have to connect with travelers via their smartphones, a survey of US hotel executives overseeing worldwide properties showed that services other than making purchases—such as location-centric information and on-property amenities—were far less common. While nearly three-fourths of these apps provided reservations capabilities, most other mobile features were in use by less than half of properties.

As smartphones become ubiquitous among travelers, destination marketing organizations (DMOs) and small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can leverage opportunities to attract and retain customers by offering mobile features that guide travelers through their destination, not just to their destination.

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