74% of Travel industry say Mobile is vital for online travel distribution

A recent survey conducted by EyeforTravel Research demonstrates the impact Mobile technology will have on the travel distribution landscape in the next 6-12 months.

Published: 26 Mar 2009

A recent survey conducted by EyeforTravel Research demonstrates the impact Mobile technology will have on the travel distribution landscape in the next 6-12 months.

The report explains the challenges and opportunities created by new mobile technologies and the ever increasing use by travel consumers. Readers will understand how to develop their online travel strategies so they can benefit and grow.

The results have been published in the Mobile Technology in Travel Report: The Introduction, the first in a series of three reports currently available to EyeforTravel Research Advanced members and part of The School of Mobile educational initiative just launched. The travel industry can register free of charge here.

Even in the remotest corners of the world, rapid adoption of mobile technology is visible and people are becoming a lot more reachable and connected. In some developing markets, a consumer base previously considered unreachable via fixed line Internet, is reachable for the very first time. The global mobile market reached 3.5 billion users in 2008 and is projected to continue to grow, reaching about 4.6 billion by 2011. Around half of global subscribers are residents of the Asia Pacific region, followed by Europe at about a third. The US accounts for about 9% of the global mobile market (source: ITU; Portio Research).

In the past there has been lots of talk and little action but right now, ‘Mobile’ seems to be considered much more of reality than before and certainly more accepted as a concept companies are ready to seriously explore and invest. For those who want to market and sell travel products to the consumer, strategies surrounding Mobile technology suggest an entirely new and potentially exciting dimension. Those that get it right will undoubtedly grab market share.

The report shows that till recently the “growth and uptake has been slow and identifying the right opportunities continues to be the hardest part of setting a mobile agenda”, but it is emphasised that the use of mobile in travel distribution is “unavoidable” and the “key success of any travel business in the future”.

Some big travel companies are making serious money from their mobile investments so the argument that “the change has already started” is very viable. However the core message is that education is still vital.

Mobile technology has evolved to the point where most functions previously exclusive to personal computers are now available in the palm of your hand. With online travel being the only growing travel market it’s not rocket science to see why mobile technology will have a massive impact on your marketing, payment and CRM operations.

Whilst ‘service based’ Mobile strategies have worked till now it is reported by EyeforTravel Research that the most dominant concept of a Mobile strategy is focused around Sales & Marketing. Mobile will have an impact on the entire buying cycle.

The rapid explosion in the use of mobile phones allows opportunities for direct and personal connection, and it eradicates the limitations that fixed location PC internet/email access. The concept of being able to connect with consumers not only 24/7, in a ‘footloose’ manner, is a concept that is new and potentially very profitable to the online travel industry. Footloose travel distribution made possible by Mobile technology means travel companies can make their ‘content’ available to anyone regardless of location. You can now be available and have a presence at all possible consumer engagement points.

74% of travel companies see “Mobile” becoming an increasingly important element of their online/digital strategies, according to the EyeforTravel Research survey. 73% state that Mobile will change the way they will communicate with their customers. The travel industry have realised they need to adapt and companies are placing a lot of emphasis upon research and development in order to work out what to do and where to invest.

Travel companies across all verticals are asking for a better understanding about the technology solutions available and how to move forward. EyeforTravel Research are now partnering with some of the leading mobile technology companies to help educate the travel industry and evaluate opportunities, costs and ROI for Travel through research and interactive seminars.

The first School of Mobile partners have just come on board and EyeforTravel welcome The Sound of Data and Netbiscuits to the project. Plus EyeforTravel are working hard with some of the industry’s most innovative travel companies such as Lufthansa, British Airways, Hilton, Kayak, WAYN, and many more to start building best practice amongst the online travel community.

The information will be found in Part Two, published in April 2009 in Mobile Technology in Travel Report: The Detail.

About The School of Mobile

EyeforTravel Research launch The School of Mobile, an initiative to help educate the travel and tourism industry about the current and potential role of Mobile in Travel. The travel industry has recently told EyeforTravel that with a better understanding of mobile markets, technology and best practice, they’re ready to invest. So we aim to provide some of the necessary information to help make Mobile a reality in Travel and find out if 2009 really can be the year for Mobile.

The School of Mobile begins with a series of 3 reports including invaluable research findings (phase one) followed by interactive seminars and meetings (phase two).

How do I register to take part in Phase One?

To sign up for your free copy of the reports click here to become and Advanced member (currently free of charge) http://www.eyefortravelresearch.com/user/registration

What is Phase Two?

In Phase Two of the School of Mobile, we’ll move from information about planning and understanding mobile in travel on to practical and interactive seminars. Travel suppliers and intermediaries will have the opportunity to listen to experts in the field of mobile technology, watch and be part of panel debates around relevant topics to the travel industry and learn what a mobile strategy could mean to them.

These seminars will take place in a Mobile Zone on 19-20th May in London located within the Travel Distribution Summit Europe 2009 exhibition area and travel suppliers and intermediaries are invited to attend free of charge.

For further information about the School of Mobile contact Amy Scarth: amy@eyefortravel.com

First School of Mobile Technology Partners come on board…

The Sound of Data delivers customer communication solutions that create new revenues or decrease operating costs for its clients. Using one of Europe’s largest platforms for managed mobile voice and data applications, they process more than 10 million customer interactions per month for international TMC’s, OTA’s, airlines, customer care centres, retail chains and media & broadcasting companies.

For more information please visit: http://www.sod.nl/

Netbiscuits operates a leading B2B web software platform for the creation, operation and monetization of mobile websites. It serves the mobile Internet programs for premium brands like Yahoo, Sixt, and eBay, and leading agencies such as Razorfish, Isobar, and Nokia Interactive. Globally Netbiscuits delivers more than 1 billion mobile page impressions each month. Founded in 2000, the company has more than 85 employees in the USA, Germany, and Singapore.

For more information please visit: www.netbiscuits.com

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