Why the future of travel&tourism industry is in mobile bookings?

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The mobile revolution has begun! In the article that I recently read “Report: Mobile 21 Percent Of E-Commerce, Will Be $84B in 2014” is mentioned that on a global level, mobile commerce will bring $84B in 2014 only. These amounts are not to be underestimated! If you still don’t have your mobile and app strategy, now it’s time to develop it and utilize mobile channel up to his full potential.

Further in the article it is mentioned that responsive design is continuing to gain adoption and estimates that around 42% of mobile sales will come from app and 58% from mobile websites. No surprise that more sales will be coming from websites than from app as app penetration in retail is still very low.

According to Budde Comm site (New Zealand – Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts) mobile market penetration in New Zealand is around 120-125% and is growing steadily. Your consumers are there so you need to be as well! Fast internet connections and mobile technology is changing the ways in which travelers are interacting with businesses in the industry. Travelers are now constantly connected and they use technology to plan their trips, make their bookings and share their experiences on social networks. The modern traveler is “constantly connected traveler”.

Within the travel and tourism industry mobile bookings are on the rise and there is a huge potential in mobile apps.  The average person has around 26 apps on their mobile device and in the travel and tourism industry they had an app for a travel agency, a hotel, an airline and a car rental that they were loyal to. The travelers are already using mobile devices to get all the information they need about specific destination they are visiting. The next logical step would be to do all the bookings through their mobile phone!

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Hotels are currently the main sector within industry that is focused on mobile bookings and transactions. This is because customers want to book their hotel in a short booking window and mobile bookings can actually shorten that time even further. There is also cost reduction with all kind of online and mobile bookings and possibility to let customers make an instant booking at any time. There are also interesting ideas that smartphones can be used as a key cards, eliminating the need to invest in physical keys.

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Airline reservations are made through mobile devices as well and a lot of major airliners are providing flight bookings, check-in and a lot more straight from app. I always love to use the example of domestic airliner Air New Zealand who has a great mobile app.

Beside providing the technology for mobile bookings we also need to think about the right content to facilitate consumer to book through mobile device. We need to think about meaningful and remarkable content which will help the consumer do their bookings in the easiest and simplest way.

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Resources:                                                                                                                       Report: Mobile 21 Percent Of E-Commerce, Will Be $84B in 2014                         Facebook say apps key to travel                                                                                               Growth in mobile booking

 

Social Media Trends 2014

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Dragana Kljajic

Recently I read a very interesting article Social Media Trends for Marketers: New Research and I started thinking how things quickly change in digital space and compared to 2013 trends we have slightly different landscape. Social Media and Digital space is changing so quickly that marketers sometimes hardly can catch up with all changes. You have to be constantly connected and follow new trends, experiment, measure and define what is working and what is not working and why.

As mentioned at the beginning, here are the top 7 Social Media trends for 2014 according to latest research published on SocialMedia Examiner site:

1. Increased exposure to social media

No wonder majority of businesses noticed that increased exposure to social media has a favorable influence on their brand. In New Zealand internet penetration in 2012 was 88% (source: Internet World Statistics) and people are massively using social media. The most…

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How to use Facebook hashtags in travel & tourism industry and why are they useful?

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Did you know you can use # for Facebook posts? Recently I read a very interesting article on this topic (Tips from 13 Experts on How to Use Hashtags on Facebook).

If you haven’t been using hashtags on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest before, let’s clarify – what is the hashtag in the first place?

I will try to explain it as simple as possible – hashtag is when you put a number sign in front of a word without spaces i.e. #hashtag. Social networks are able to track hashtags and will display all conversations and images that includes hashtags from newest to oldest. You can find people interested in common topic, get involved or start a conversation. So, this one was pretty easy!

Just in case, here is a short educational video how to use #:

You must be asking yourself – how can hashtags help my tourism business market on Facebook?

Can you imaging jumping into a conversation about top travel destination of your choice or new destination that you want to include in your offer instantaneously?

Or, finding out what other people say on Facebook via clickable hashtags (#)?

You can do all of this and more by typing a simple character (hashtag) in front of your favorite topic or keyword.  Have a look at few examples below tailored for various parts of tourism industry.

Agencies and travel professionals:

Use hashtags in your Facebook posts about top travel destinations or destinations that you have in offer. Then use # to join the destinations people are talking about. For me Cook Islands comes to mind. Here is how it can look like on your Facebook page:

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Tour operators:

You can include # in a post about new attraction that you plan to visit on your next tour.

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Airliners:

Here are some great examples from Air New Zealand using Facebook hashtags to promote news from their company:

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Hotels, restaurants, bars:

You can use hashtags on Facebook for promoting special offers, connecting to specific cities, or simply to to build a community and thank people for being your customers

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And the best part at the end! Some best practices and advice on how to use hashtags:

  • Don’t use too many hashtags in your posts. Usually 1-2 is enough and works quite well.
  • Use industry specific hashtags or you can create your own hashtag for your audience  and according to their interests!
  • If you are using hashtags on Instagram and/or Twitter, then also use them on Facebook. Integration does miracles in social space.
  • You have to use hashtags in the right way and use the right hashtags for your audience.

I hope you found this blog interesting and helpful. Please let me know what is your point of view? Do you see opportunities for your business in using hashtags? Leave a reply below!

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Resources:                                                                                                                                Tips from 13 Experts on How to Use hashtags on Facebook                                                   4 Facebook Hashtag Best Practices for Travel & Tourism pros