Mobile Devices Are the Focus of Travel Technology

Nils Kraus - Jan 27, 2014
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The mobile industry has been vital in different travel sectors, particularly in the U.S. Recent reports show that the $318 billion estimated amount to be spent is growing imminent by the moment for this year.

Initial Expected Projections

According to a PhoCusWright's report dating back November of the previous year, mobile bookings in the U.S. will closely double up this year - from the original $12.3 billion, all the way to $24.3 billion. They also stated that smartphones and tablets, collectively mobile bookings, will both account to a rise of online travel bookings and thus, its 10% placement in the national booking statistics will go up to an 18% projection.

PhoCusWright predicted that in every $12 spent for travel bookings, a dollar of it is produced through mobile integration. The travel market research giant also stated that air bookings will overtake car rental as the second-most penetrated sector when it comes to mobile. Of course, hotel bookings will still remain on the top spot, which comes to no surprise. Barney Harford, CEO of Orbitz, who spoke at the yearly PhoCusWright conference pegged a 27% projection accounted to hotel bookings for fiscal year 2013.

Regardless of that, smartphones have surfaced strongly in the channel of booking. Hotel bookings in the U.S. through smartphones have leaped to an 86% rate in Q3 2013. All the while, tablets are accounted for 57% of the bookings, based on information disclosed by HEbS Digital. Sadly enough, desktop bookings have fallen down the rocks with a decrease of 6%.

On another note, GDS operators have been moving speedily into the virtual space. Sabre debuted Sabre Red Mobile during the fall season. This app was designed for the iOS, particularly for iPads, as a vital tool for travel agents who use Sabre Red Workspace. The company has also mentioned its intent to develop versions of the app for different handheld devices. Furthermore, Sabre Red Mobile is cloud-based and it automatically synchronizes all the work data from SR Workspace.

Going Beyond the Scope of Mobile Travel Tech

The whole mobile integration theme does not end merely in the travel sector. According to Sabre Hospitality Solutions President, Alex Alt, 2014 will be about unleashing all reservations, which would encompass the whole guest experience. So basically, even the hospitality sector will be proliferated not only with mobile apps, but also with social media tools that will allow travelers and guests alike to book the rooms in any of the hotels, hostels and resorts they favor.

On another hand, Travel Technology Europe conducts their research on travel companies focusing on expenditures for fiscal year 2014. Initial reports suggest that mobile tech will have a 72% of budget increase to proliferate the development of travel related apps. This is followed by social media marketing initiatives, which will have a 44% increase, followed by reservation systems with 34%. Nevertheless, mobile apps and websites are viewed to be the highest trend with a 42% increase by tech companies edged for the travel industry this year.

Among the highlights of the research done by Travel Technology Europe is the finding that 80% of all the respondents are actually planning to spend more than the usual for technological contrivances in 2014. The research company's event manager Sarina Patel stated that this year is actually meant to be a year for a brimming amount of technological investments. So basically, it is expected that more people will be hooked into the advantages of mobile integrated travel essentials via tablets, smartphones and other handheld devices. Patel also said that the travel tech world is not only gearing up through mobile stratagems, but also in planning substantial investments that can help deliver what has always been expected: a big leap to try something new.

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