Smart phones creating savvy travelers

When it comes to travel, research, laptops and tablets are a thing of the past.

Americans are increasingly switching to their smartphones to plan and book their travel, but they have also began using them as the main resource for their entire travel experience.

Everything can be done via a smartphone; from tracking flights, to being a tour guide at any given destination.

Data released by eMarketer – an independent market research company that focuses on digital marketing, media and commerce – predicts that 2015 will be the tipping point for travel research conducted via mobile devices.

According to the company’s latest forecast of digital and mobile travel research and booking, 63 percent of Americans will research travel on the internet this year, 47 percent of these people will do so via a mobile device. In the United States alone, 106.3 million people will book travel online and 31 percent of online bookings will be done on a mobile device.

There has been an uptick in travelers relying on their smartphones, both prior and during travel, especially as new apps claim to enhance the experience by making it more convenient and easier to navigate destinations.   

The app stores are flooded with helpful tools – itinerary organizers, flight trackers, audio tours, money convertors, public transportation, journaling, language translators, weather info, maps and navigation tools, news, postcards – the list is endless.

Museums and popular attractions are also jumping onboard the trend and are empowering travelers by creating apps to not only guide and inform their visitors, but to personalize the experience and tailor it to individual interests. 

The World War II Museum, for example, developed an app to function as their official visitor’s guide in September, 2013. The app provides suggested and customized itineraries, full descriptions of the museum’s images and artifacts throughout their exhibit, maps, oral history, and so on. Longue Vue House and Garden also have an app which visitors can tap into and tour the grounds under the guidance of the curator and gardeners, all from their smartphones.

As the trend continues to steer toward travelers relying on their smartphones for an immersive experience – tourism related businesses, big or small, will need to become “mobile device friendly” to stay within the reach of modern travelers.  

Categories: Tourism Biz