Travel brands are continually looking for new ways to enable meaningful experiences and develop new methods of connecting with new and target customers.
Mobile apps are transforming the travel space. This smart phone software extends a brand’s personality and creates new touch points with customers, giving them anytime/anywhere access. From runways shows to booking hotel stays, this technology reaches a younger more tech-savvy audience, in the hopes of building brand loyalty at a younger age. Apps can be central for hospitality brands for creating better relationships with their customers by being able to serve guests better before, during and after their stay. From Starwood to Langham Hotels apps, the end result is to enhance customer service and create more brand loyalty.
Google reports so far in 2011, 35% of all travel related search happens via mobile (in ’10 it was 10%). Mobile search is underutilized yet rapid growing as customers are replacing standard PCs and laptops with mobile devices at an extraordinary rate.
In an interesting twist, Lonely Planet has created the Globe Tripper app, a fun way for travelers to interact with the travel company. It’s a travel trivia game where players virtually navigate the world, test their knowledge and solve puzzles along the way. “A big part of traveling is learning about other cultures and our aim was to produce a fun, interactive game for travelers, which taps into their passion for exploring the world and finding out about other cultures,” said Lonely Planet’s VP Mobile, Jeremy Kreitler. Users can also post their scores on Twitter and Facebook, thus extending the companies reach to new audiences through social media.
Another travel company, Condé Nast, has also gone interactive by launching their Gold List app. However, instead of being a game, this is a way for users to share their experiences of hotels around the world.