Published on Friday, September 23, 2011

Travel needs to wake up to mobile revolution

Companies are still lagging behind in the mobile revolution, just as they did when the internet first changed the world in the 1990s, according to technology experts.

Speaking at the TravelMole Industry Question Time in London this week, managing director of mobile travel service Travel Buddy Adam Winterford said many companies are yet to have a mobile strategy run by a designated team.

 “When you go  to companies you'll find it difficult, especially with large companies, to find the guy looking at mobile and asking: 'Why mobile? It is just starting now that businesses are saying we need someone to drive this,” he said.

Yahoo! head of partnerships Guy Beresiner said 84% of Brits own at least one mobile device while there are 83 million mobile contracts in the country, giving a saturation level of 133%.

Mobile is no longer a technology businesses can afford to ignore, agreed Paul Middleton, sales and marketing director of travel application specialist Cloudworks Solution but he said the problem was not necessarily caused by companies deliberately sticking their heads in the sand.

“The underlying statistic is there's 6.9 billion people in the world and of that 5 billion have got a mobile device, there's got to be business there.”

“There’s a lot of information out there and statistics confusing travel companies. They've all got a desire to go mobile but they don't know what to do,” he said.

Companies should not be focused solely on producing apps designed to drive revenue, added Beresiner.

He said: “If you built an app with a view that it has to make a return it never
will, no-one searches for that. If you create one that solves a travel problem then you will be popular.”

Winterford added whatever companies feel about it, mobile has got to a point where
they can no longer afford to ignore it.

 “First internet use through travel meant companies saved a lot of money and
became more efficient.

“People did get more confident and started spending money on it and as online grew
so they started booking in greater numbers,” he said.

By Ed Robertson

TIQT is sponsored by Getabed Uk, amadeus and Yahoo

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  • Confusion rather than snoozing?

    The article says "There"s a lot of information out there and statistics confusing travel companies. They've all got a desire to go mobile but they don't know what to do," So the travel industry isn"t asleep when it come to mobile as the title would suggest?

    By Mike Naylor, Thursday, October 13, 2011

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