Forewarned is Forearmed: Top Travel Apps for Tourists

Marina Astapchik
IT Trends Research Specialist
December 3, 2014

Mobile trends for tourism and travel has already gone through massive transformational changes taking into account fast growth of mobile technologies all over the world. The smartphone has become the unique travel companion giving tourists access to their money, photos, travel guides, maps, social networks, travel reviews and much more. No one doubts that travel technologies will keep moving on further. Why? Because gone are the days when travel mobile apps and their development were something minor. Mobile app development companies empower tourists with more flexibility, more choice and freedom than ever. It is here for all to see.

Please, look, here we have collected some statistics of 2013:

  • 85% of the surveyed leisure travelers used their mobile devices while abroad
  • 30% used them to find hotels
  • 15% downloaded mobile apps to arrange the coming vacation
  • 72% posted their holiday photos on a social network
  • 46% checked in to a vacation location
  • 70% updated their Facebook status while on vacation
  • 61% of US travelers reported using social media while on vacation
  • 85% of travelers used smartphones while on vacation, and 46% used tablets
  • The most popular use of smartphones while traveling was for finding restaurants (36% for smartphones, 21% for tablets) and accessing social media (32% for smartphones, 19% on tablets)
  • 57% of business travelers use a mobile device to book travel
  • 44% of travelers use their phones to research travel while they’re actually traveling

Sources: blog.apps-builder.com, wtmlondon.com, nielsen.com

Thus, these impressive figures show that travel mobile apps have become a reliable ally to mobile app development companies.That’s why there is a natural question: What tourism apps could be interesting to customers? What iOS and Android application development technology trends for tourism can retain old customers and get new ones?

Overall and we know it judging by our own expertise of getting orders for software development, tourism businesses use apps for new ways of interaction with their clients. Apps enable users to find a hotel, restaurant, cafes, flight tickets, remarkable places, weather information and lots of other travel-related information. Moreover, travel agencies provide incentives (coupons, discounts, additional services designed especially for mobile app) and tend to simplify the procedure of booking that can be completed quickly through an app. An important thing here is a good search engine.

Development of intelligent search is a current trend in travel application development. Amadeus says that soon tourists will be able to ask a search tool to find a five day surf-riding holiday on Bali, including flights, accommodation on specific dates. And they will get a range of options with itineraries and destinations, best ever prices reviewed by travel experts. It is difficult to say whether it will happen by 2017 or 2020 etc., but there’s no doubt that software developers do their best to present such smart search tools as soon as possible to everyone’s delight.

So, moving on from the general to specific facts, what particular mobile trends for travel and tourism are of interest?

First, as a software development company, we would mention augmented reality applications for travel and tourism that make use of a mobile device camera to get information about places and destinations as well as to find the necessary one. Here, it would be logically mention geo-located content. Geo-located apps are wonderful guides about cities and countries as well.

Our customer, for whom we developed a mobile geo-located app for Torshavn (the capital of Faroe Islands), asserts that this type of content makes users want to come back to the Torshavn City App to consult more and more information. By the way, this tourism geolocation mobile app also provides currency exchange information, bus timetables and itineraries. It also enables its users to find their way in the city, while recommending shows, parties, stores, restaurants and other places of interests and events that are worth attending.

Moving on, online travel booking. Each of us has used Booking.com or Europcar.com, haven't we? Currently, the majority of travel sites have a corresponding mobile application. By the way, according to Tourism Business Portal, 1/3 of all travel-related sales worldwide made in 2012 were online. So, companies that have a strong mobile presence have more chances to enlarge revenue. In order to gain profits, travel businesses invest into mobile optimized versions of their websites because users want a hassle-free experience with less space on their smartphone screens.

The same thing about online review sites. It has become a must to offer a mobile app. Tourism businesses welcome feedback because online review sites remain a key factor to influence the choice of a vacation option for many travelers. For example, TripAdvisor. Recently at Elinext Group, we have run across the statistics from TripAdvisor that in Q3 2014 150 million travelers downloaded the various TripAdvisor apps. TripAdvisor's app are currently downloaded at a rate of 28 times per minute. There are 190 million reviews covering more than 4.4 million accommodations, restaurants and places of interest.

Amazing, isn't it? It’s supposed that travel mobile apps and services will become more and more socially connected, while more and more travel business will integrate their mobile travel apps into social networks to keep in touch with users of the networks.

Apart from the mentioned points, we should mention money question. Driven by the rise of the smartphone, mobile payments are on the rise as well. They bring tourists the benefit of not having to take cash on holidays, which creates unique and extremely comfortable experience. Correspondingly, travel businesses and mobile app development companies integrate mobile payment services into travel apps, trying to go hand-in-hand with consumers.

As you can see, mobile technology gives travel businesses so many ways to connect with clients. It has really become a godsend for them and their customers as well as for mobile app development companies. Hey, everyone, get involved and keep your clients connected!

Elinext Group software development projects:

Poshberry Airline Tickets Website
Animalpetbook.com Social Network
IT Infrastructure Management Software
SaaS CRM System Case Study
Tuttidare Charity Organization Case Study

Industries and Technology Areas

Industries: IT

Technology Areas: software development, custom software development

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