Travel industry has “yet to unlock mobile potential”
Mobile technology could be the key to selling more holidays, but nobody has come up with a way to effectively utilise it, senior executives say.
At a World Travel Market round table, Future of Mobile, held in London, 12 execs met to discuss the move away from desktops towards smartphones and tablets. The event was a preview of the new Travel Tech Show at WTM, due to take place alongside World Travel Market in November.
Evidence appears to back the continuing trend towards mobile, with Google travel industry chief Daniel Robb noting that the search engine was seeing all search volume growth coming from mobile devices. He added that 20% of all travel searches were now coming from smartphones.
However, Steve Endacott, chairman and chief executive of On Holiday Group, warned against buying into the hype surrounding the new technology. “We all know it’s an opportunity, but so far nobody has found a way to commercially use it to sell holidays, irrespective of the marketing hype it receives,” he said.
John Pickles, product director at Comtec, suggested that too much attention “was focussed on the device – the real issue for us is the connection”.
But the group acknowledged the crossover between social media and mobile, with more consumers posting reviews in real-time, which should change how businesses interact.
[pictured: ibis Sleep Art; image courtesy Accor]