Research shows that 2009 is the year the travel industry is investing in mobile technology to make it a viable and profitable CRM, marketing, booking and transaction platform.
Survey of over 800 top travel marketing decision makers shows that 30% of the online travel industry (travel suppliers and intermediaries) will be investing in "mobile" for the first time in 2009. It's also worth noting that nearly three quarters of these companies we spoke to believe that mobile will become an increasingly important element of their digital strategies.
Quite simply, the next couple of years are going to see the take off for mobile in travel ... and the industry is preparing.
Mobile and travel has always been a obvious potent mix but since 2001 there have been several false starts. On balance the industry has probably lost money through investing in mobile. Now it's very different due to 2 changes:
- Money is being made from mobile initiatives taken by some notable Travel companies
- Recession busting growth in smart phone penetration. (Especially the iPhone. It is not the only smart phone, but it does seem to be the driver. I have been talking to many mobile app builders recently and without exception all agree that People who own iphones just seem that much more ready to buy through them)
Having studied, reported and placed my money predicting the development of travel distribution (you should see how expensive it is to put on a conference for 1800 online travel execs!) I believe that while 2009 will be a hard year for the travel industry those that can sell their product and keep their customers through the developing mobile channel will have increased share of the travel bookings and will be placed for big expansion when the business world starts working again.
In response, we are launching The School of Mobile, a two-phased project, aiming to educate and inform the travel industry about the integration of "mobile" into their strategies.
Phase 1: Research and education
Right now we are spending US$70,000 producing 3 hard hitting and original peaces of research looking at:
- The Mobile market - Mobile technology, penetration and data usage around the world, insight into the mobile internet user
- How ready is the travel industry to embrace Mobile? Analysis of the first in-depth survey conducted with over 800 of EyeforTravel's clients: Who's investing? Who's tested the market? Where are the opportunities, challenges and priorities for 2009 and beyond?
- Practical guide to investing in Mobile technologies - Preparing for the Mobile platform
- Developing mobile strategies and investing in new technology - Analysis and insight into opportunities from mobile technology innovations
- Planning for the future of mobile travel - Operational management for mobile strategy integration
These will be distributed to 10,000 leading players in the Travel industry.
Phase 2: Action, investment and bench marking
More research focussed just on the use of mobile in the USA will be produced for the Travel Distribution Summit North America and the collocated Mobile Strategies for Travel Conference will enable attendees to see if their mobile strategies are right. Attend the conference and
- Hear from peers already using mobile to sell
- Benchmark your progress against the best
- Understand how to apply the mobile channel across the travel buying cycle to increase sales, retention and profits
- Asses tech and app suppliers, buy the right solutions with confidence and ensure you have the best chance of making a return on your investment.