Mad for Mobile
I’ve amassed a fair amount of data whilst working on an academic research project with a colleague investigating the use of smartphones by travel consumers – simply trying to keep up with the pace of developments in the industry is a challenge in itself, but for me personally it is one of the most fascinating and exciting areas of technology, particularly from a tourism perspective.
When I am not collating data, downloading data, entering questions into Survey Monkey or destroying my eyesight in front of a computer screen, Twitter offers plenty of interesting articles on mobile for my distraction – here are a few recent ones which I’ve found interesting in relation to issues surrounding mobile and travel.
The article discusses the latest Trip Advisor UK accommodation owners’ survey which featured 800 hoteliers and B&B’s in the UK and revealed that 66% of respondents said it was important to offer travellers a method of booking their inventory via mobile devices. What was also interesting was the % breakdown of which channels accommodation providers used to market deals to their customers, with 75% using their website and 39% using email.
In an interesting piece exploring what hotels have done to date with mobile and where it may take them next, author Glen Gruber makes the point that not only is mobile technology perfectly suited for travel as much of it takes place when you’re not at home, but also that the technology combines so well with two other trends pertinent to the travel industry: “social and local.” Some good presentations here too.
One of the most important deciding factors in how we use our mobile phones or if we use them at all when we are abroad must still be roaming charges. There may be good news ahead if the European Commission’s proposal to gradually lower price caps on mobile phone and data roaming charges is accepted. What could this mean for consumers in Europe? Lower capped rates for outgoing calls, caps on data transmitted and the right for consumers to buy roaming packages separately from their domestic mobile phone contracts.