This Fall I attended the Eye for Travel, Travel Distribution Summit in Las Vegas as the expert moderator of the social group buying and flash sales session. It was a superb conference and I got to meet upcoming travel entrepreneurs including the team at Gogobot and a few wily online travel veterans. The talk of the town was Mobile Travel. Two of the world’s largest hotel chain brands presented slide’s that looked like hockey sticks showing massive growth in travelers booking hotel rooms with mobile devices.
The two hotel chains said that, 90% of the mobile bookings were either same day or within 72-hours of arrival, so the current mobile device hotel booking usage is showing that travelers are using their mobile devices for last minute lodging needs. I also met Sam Shank, co-founder of Hotel Tonight and saw a presentation about their mobile booking app. Hotel Tonight’s mobile hotel booking app is for booking hotel rooms at major U.S. cities on the same day of arrival or booking tonight. If you haven’t seen the Hotel Tonight mobile app or have not booked a hotel room with it, go to the iTunes store or Google Play (Android) and download it.
The mobile app landscape is being built out with thousands of new mobile apps coming to the market on a daily basis. Just as the Internet exploded in the mid-to-late 90’s with travel businesses needing websites and online booking engines, there are millions of travel businesses that are going to need mobile online booking apps. If you’re a hotel or travel business owner, I would start talking with a mobile app developer today as you could have a 1-2 year lead out in front of your competitors by having a mobile app to capture that short-term travel booking.
I say this because during the conference one of the moderators polled the audience of around 200 people on how many companies at the conference were going to invest in mobile technology in 2012 and less than 12 people raised their hands. I was quite amazed actually, especially after most of the people had attended the mobile travel sessions and saw the staggering growth in mobile device bookings by the big hotel brands.
Does Your Company Need Mobile Development Help? One company that I like in the mobile app development space is Red Foundry. Checkout their user friendly development platform here at http://www.redfoundry.com Another talented web and mobile developer and good friend of mine is Craig Kaminsky. You can reach him here. http://www.imageaid.net/
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