Apps get World Travel Market seal of approval

Apps get World Travel Market seal of approval

Half of the travel industry are, or will be, investing in mobile apps, reveals the World Travel Market Industry Report 2011, released earlier.

More than 1,000 buyers from WTM’s Meridian Club and exhibitors at this year’s World Travel Market were asked a series of questions, giving a unique global perspective on what senior executives are thinking about travel on a global scale.

Mobile is arguably one of the key trends for the industry now and in the future.

Currently only one in ten of businesses have developed a mobile application, although a further 38 per cent are committed to launching one in the future.

Despite the growth of the mobile industry and launch of new devices, many businesses (32 per cent) admitted they hadn’t given any thought to whether apps would be of benefit to their business.

However, nearly one in five (20 per cent) have decided apps would not be part of their strategy.

Businesses with an app or a commitment to launch one identified bookings as the most important feature, with two-thirds (67 per cent) claiming their app will be transactional.

Despite concerns about roaming charges being a headwind for the take-up and use of apps, more than one-third of businesses (39 per cent) said they would use apps to offer real-time in-resort information.

Furthermore, apps are being designed to keep in contact with the customer after they return from their holiday, with 37 per cent planning to use their app as part of the post-holiday follow-up strategy.

Reed Travel Exhibitions Chairman World Travel Market Fiona Jeffery said: “Mobile apps are part and parcel of most peoples’ everyday lives, and the travel industry’s interest in apps reflects this.

“The WTM Industry Report suggests that globally, apps will become a key part of how the industry takes bookings, improves the holiday experience and chases repeat custom.

“As the leading global event for the travel industry, our technology and online travel region has increased by 40 per cent for WTM 2011 AND moved on from booking systems and web sites.

“Mobile and apps are sufficiently established for specialist providers to be a big part of WTM moving forward.”