Mobile applications are short term bet, experts tell WTM 2010 delegates

Thursday 11, November 2010


Mobile applications are short term bet, experts tell WTM 2010 delegates


Mobile applications are a ‘short-term bet’ according to a mobile expert speaking at the Does Mobile Matter? session at World Travel Market.


Giving his top 10 tips for mobile, CX Partners Managing Director Giles Colbourne said although applications deliver the best experience today, they are costly to develop and require specialist skills to build and manage.


“Applications cost between £20,000 and £100,000 to develop and a good one is at the top end of that range. I think apps are something that are going to grow but then be replaced by something else.”


Colbourne said that HTML 5 could take over providing many of the advantages of applications such as offline access of websites and geo-location services.


He also claimed mobile would become the centre of all businesses and advised companies to think about mobile first and build out from there.


Colbourne was joined by’s Head of Innovation Marko Balabanovic, who said the company was seeing consumer behaviour rapidly changing when it comes to searching for and booking travel and lifestyle products.


He said the company’s understanding of mobile had changed in the past year in line with consumer behaviour.


“One of the more extreme cases we have started to see is people looking extremely local and extremely soon and the interesting thing for us to think about is our relationship with suppliers. The way the travel industry works is that we won’t necessarily have a lot of products for this but people with mobile devices are creating expectations around it.”


Balabanovic added that location-based services could mean a deep change in the travel industry if this behaviour becomes more common. He also pointed to figures from companies showing a massive increase in mobile activity such as Accor which has seen a 100% increase in mobile bookings in two months and Tripadvisor which has experienced a doubling in mobile page views in the past three months. recently added a hotel booking section to its mobile website and the company plans to unveil a new version of its Snaffle application featuring deals from across the UK. A further new development around theatre booking using mobile devices is also on the cards.


“We want to start working much more aggressively now in this area. We’re called but what we would really like is to be able to literally sell something in the last minute.”


The WTM Global Trends Report, in conjunction with Euromonitor International, predicts mobile phone manufacturers are poised to take over from Google as the most powerful technological players in the European travel and tourism industry as smartphone penetration increases.



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