Is mobile is the fastest growing channel?

Online travel firms query mobile return on investment. What about hotels?  Should they focus on mobile web and a mobile booking engine or creating a hotel mobile application?

At a conference last week, TripAdvisor revealed that there are many challenges with mobile, not least getting people to use its app regularly. While Expedia confirmed again, that mobile is the fastest-growing channel, but it is just 7% of the company’s total room nights.

Tripadvisor vice-president for mobile partnerships Nathan Clapton told the World Tourism Forum Lucerne (WTFL): “We’ve been in mobile for four years and there are challenges – not least getting people to use us regularly [by app].”

Clapton said: “We recommend to hotels that the mobile web is much more important than developing an app.”

However, he added: “App users do spend longer with us. We think only a small number of travel apps will be used and we want to be one of them.”

Some points of interest:

  • It is complex to be in mobile and every next move is expensive. There is not one type of mobile device, and devices are different sizes.
  • The return on investment with mobile is poor.
  • More than 70% of smart phone bookings are last minute. Tablets are different.

More info: Travolution