Over recent months there has been a distinct move away from desktops towards smartphones and tablets, which has prompted travel industry experts to question how the industry should use, technology to connect with today’s multi-device consumer concluded travel industry board members at a recent World Travel Marketing Round Table meeting.
A dozen senior executives attended the event, which was a preview to the new Travel Tech Show at WTM which will take place at ExCel from 4th to the 7th November.
Google Industry Head Travel Daniel Robb said they are seeing all volume growth coming from searches made on either smartphones or tablets, with 20% of all travel searches currently coming from a smartphone.
Robb thought that “mobile is still predominantly a replication of the desktop.” Mark Maddock Managing Director lastminute.com, added that people now shift devices 23 times a day and check their mobile more than 100 times a day. “We have to think in terms of device response optimisation,”
Diane Bouzebiba, Managing Director Amadeus UK & Ireland, said that “in a corporate context, consistency between the desktop, self booking tool and the version on whatever device the traveller has while on the road, is vital.”
Other guests noted the crossover between social media and mobile. Dave Williams Chief Information Officer Feefo pointed out that people were starting to write and post reviews in real-time, and this changed how travel businesses should interact. Ewan MacLeod WTM mobile expert and Mobile Industry Review founder, noted that some restaurants included QR codes on menus to encourage diners to post reviews.
Real-time reviews are likely to become more prevalent as the costs of using a mobile phone abroad come down. John Finlayson Brand and Partnership Manager Weve noted that roaming charges were not only coming down but also now a de facto part of a contract. Other guests noted that tech-savvy holidaymakers take advantage of free wi-fi access in the hotel or around the resort to get online. Miceala Juarez, Head of Marketing and Communications World Travel Market, said: “This Round Table on mobile was a great success and is the first of many similar events in the run up to the new Travel Tech Show at WTM which takes place alongside World Travel Market for the first time.
“Travel Technology is a growing segment of the industry which warrants its own stand-alone event and dedicated year-round discussions event, which the mobile round table was the first of.”
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