Booking a holiday used to mean spending hours browsing brochures and sitting in a travel agents, but with the increasing developments in mobile technology holidaymakers have taken to using a smartphone to plan the perfect getaway.
An abundance of travel-related apps, fast internet connections and the increasing number of mobile-savvy users has redefined how holiday destinations are researched and booked, leading to some fundamental changes in the travel industry.
Marketing firm Tradedoubler found that 62% of holidaymakers are neglecting travel agents in favour of creating their own package holidays, choosing to book flights and accommodation separately to ensure the best deal is found.
Dan Cohen, a regional director at Tradedoubler, said: “We now have unprecedented levels of information and offers at our fingertips and it’s driving a significant shift in how we research and book holidays.
“One-in-five now book holidays using a mobile, a figure that rises to 28% amongst 25-34 year olds. Airlines, hotels and holiday operators without a presence on the right performance channels are going to lose out.”
Gone are the days of using paper maps and foreign phrase books, as smartphones such as the iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S4 can locate where you are in the world and translate words and phrases on screen. Smartphones are also capable of storing boarding passes as well as helping users find last-minute hotel rooms and flights.
Business and technology news website Business Insider stated in a recent article that online travel is gearing towards mobile platforms, which is unsurprising given the current adoption of smartphones as travel tools.
Some of the largest online travel companies have already reported a significant percentage of their bookings are now made via a mobile device. This increase is opening up new business opportunities, with many firms already offering users various ways to make last-minute hotel reservations in just a few taps.
With some travel-based apps reaching into the multi-million region of downloads, it is evident that mobile devices have become an integral part of the holiday experience.
Research conducted by travel information site My Destination found that 75% of smartphones connect to the free Wi-Fi networks offered by various airports. This gives travellers instant access to real-time updates on flight arrivals and departures, waiting times at security checkpoints and airport parking charges.
Staying connected is now also a key factor for holidaymakers even while they’re away from home, with the availability of Wi-Fi amenities in hotels across the world becoming a prominent feature in the accommodations’ offerings.
As more advanced smartphones make their way into the market, the next step in mobile technology looks to show enormous potential in shaping and refining the way travellers explore, book and even share their holiday experiences in the future.
This guest post was written by Stefanie Keeling of Dialaphone