Technology now plays a role in nearly every step of a traveler’s purchase journey. Knowing the specific technologies consumers prefer at each stage—from computers during the planning and booking phases to smartphones once they embark on and return from their trips—will inform brands on how to best reach these groups.
At least nine in 10 (92%) prospective travelers bring their smartphones with them on vacation.Travelers are spurred by a strong sense of utility by doing so: 81 percent of this group say thatsmartphones can enhance their travel experience. The device is used to complete a range ofsocial and trip-related activities that help travelers stay connected to friends and family back home in addition to helping them learn more about their vacation destination.
The importance of mobile technologies in the travel sector requires travel brands to know which features travelers want most in mobile apps. This includes being free to download, security for personal information, and the ability to host and store travel information all in one place. Two brands stand out for their success in the travel space. Airbnb recently acquired HotelTonight in March and the latter enjoys some of the highest Satisfaction scores among its customers. The acquisition also makes sense for Airbnb, since it now owns HotelTonight’s thriving mobile platform and inventory of boutique hotels.
The move fits with Airbnb’s strategy to become an all-inclusive travel brand over the last few years. The brand now offers more than just the private rooms and homes of its hosts; its list of unique accommodations now includes boutique hotels and its platform encourages travelers to book local experiences in the place they are staying.