Mobile marketing offers unrivalled growth opportunities for the travel industry, outstripping potential returns from investments in digital marketing, social media and artificial intelligence
According to a survey of 183 European travel industry executives conducted by EyeforTravel. Over two fifths of the executives interviewed predicted that their mobile budgets would spiral upwards by 50% or more over the next two to three years.
Asked to identify what the greatest opportunities are this year, 79% of the travel executives named mobile in general. Some 59% saw content and digital marketing as strong areas of development, 35% pointed to social media, while app development was in fourth place with 24%. These areas of development all had a mobile component.
The research results are a key finding in the newly-launched EyeforTravel Mobile in Travel Report 2016-17, which is published this month.
The report explores the dramatic impact that mobile technology is having on the global travel business. It charts the transformation of customer behavior and examines how the mobile revolution has changed the way travelers plan and book their trips.
Part of this change is how mobile has now grown to become the main source of web traffic for major travel sites in the UK, US, Brazil and India and is growing strongly.
Although mobile is widely used in researching trips, laptops and desktops still dominate digital travel sales, accounting for 80% of air and hospitality sales in Germany and 57% of accommodation sales and 60% of flight sales in the UK.
Nonetheless, the report shows that the rapid uptake of smartphones has empowered travelers and has created a generation of well-informed and agile consumers who are gaining increasing independence and confidence. For example, some 76% of travelers named their mobile device as their number one travel accessory, while 42% have made a same day hotel booking thanks to their mobile, with 14% booking their hotel in the airport departure lounge, according to a Hotels.com survey of more than 9,200 consumers.
The report also found that the app boom of the past five years may have reached its peak. Some travel marketers believe that the app market is mature and say that it is hard for all but the biggest apps to gain standout on consumers’ mobile phones. They are looking at putting more resources into the mobile web. The report also looks at the potential for growth in messaging apps as a way for consumers to plan and book flights and hotels.
Drawing from a wide range of statistical sources and specially commissioned research, the report identifies a number of key trends in the use of mobile in the travel industry. It examines smartphone adoption around the world, the importance of the mobile web, different ways of creating mobile apps, the issue of partnerships and data sharing and how to ensure mobile security.
There are detailed reports on conference addresses and interviews with senior travel executives from airlines, online travel agencies and hotel chains. The report also contains case studies about the mobile strategies of brands such as on Lufthansa, HostelWorld, TripAdvisor, CheapFlights, Hotels.com, Starwood Hotels and IHG.