Mobile Booking Trends & Challenges For Your Business

15 Aug 2014     |    Taz Bareham

Each month new research comes out on this fascinating shift to mobile in travel & tourism.

Below are the recent trends, along with mobile booking challenges tour operators are faced with.

Mobile Booking Trends

As expected, mobile bookings continue to rise – both for business and leisure travelers.

Research conducted by CWT found that:

  • A quarter of all online corporate travel bookings will be made by a mobile device by 2017.
  • Mobile bookings will more than double in the next 2 years.
  • 56% of the companies surveyed already had or were planning to implement a BYOD (bring your own device) policy. This is a contributing factor.
  • In 3 years, mobile booking activity will reach what online booking tools took 8 years to achieve.

Both travelers and travel managers expect mobile booking to increase significantly over the next 5 years.

In a separate study, Nucleus found that 43% of all traffic to travel websites now come from mobile. In fact, mobile share of traffic increased to 55.4% on luxury websites.

Smartphones seem to be driving the most growth in this area, with bookings on smartphones increasing 198% year-on-year. To put this in perspective, booking via tablets increased by just 17% and booking via PCs by 15%.

Nucleus concludes that together, smartphone and tablet booking now represent 19% of all revenue.

Mobile Booking Challenges

CWT’s survey identified the main barrier to booking online via mobile – the user experience.

  • Traditional booking channels are simply easier and faster to use. Booking via laptops was rated the easiest, followed by phone calls, tablets, and smartphones.
  • It takes 4 minutes longer to complete a booking on a smartphone (19 minutes) vs a desktop or laptop (15 minutes). This is partly because many sites are optimised for desktop as opposed to mobile.

Nucleus stated that while it is evident that mobile optimisation is critical, the travel sector still lags when it comes to implementing responsive web design. To fix this problem, “smartphone-ready sites need a straightforward approach that allows users to book with confidence, without compromising their data and privacy.”

All of the experts agree that the user interface needs to be perfected to meet the needs of your potential customers in order to increase mobile bookings. However, many businesses in travel and tourism are too slow to adapt.

Just last year the Internet Advertising Bureau found that only 48% of travel companies had a mobile optimised site and just 4% used responsive web design.

Do you have a mobile optimised booking site?

Rezdy is a booking software created specifically for the tours and activities sector.

You automatically get access to a mobile booking site just for your customers who are booking via mobile device. Why not take a free trial to see how it works? No credit card required.

Or to keep learning about how to tackle the mobile trend, download our free ebook:

going mobile for tour operators ebook