Technology has been changing the way that we do even the simplest of tasks for years now, and this is no different when it comes to travelling. If we think back to our childhood holidays we can probably all remember the giant roadmap our parents were armed with, and the inevitable delays when one turning was missed and we had to rely on sub-par navigation skills and street signs for guidance.
However, as smartphones take over these days are now very much behind us. People are now planning itineraries, identifying interesting stops along their way, and checking room rates and availability in real-time. So, as a hotel it’s now your job to know where they’re looking for their information, what they’re doing with it, and how to keep your brand on their radar.
There are hundreds of apps out there, but naturally, there are a few that have infiltrated the market much more heavily. As a hotel, you’ll want to engage as much as possible with these top mobile apps so that you are visible to potential guests and can therefore increase your bookings.
One of the top uses for apps by travellers is to book accommodation. HotelTonight is a last-minute booking app for travellers which displays nearby hotels’ unsold deals for the same day. Rather than using public data, the app partners with hotels to populate its listings. As such, you can retain flexibility over pricing short-notice inventory, while still being able to fill your last few vacant rooms.
When people are on a long journey, they often want to find places to stop along the way to see different landmarks and attractions. On the Roadtrippers app, users input their starting point and destination, and the app populates their path with points of interest.
Searches can be limited to lodgings, attractions, natural wonders, and “weird stuff”. A search of LA reveals sights like Muscle Beach, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, and the Manson Family Ranch.
Citymapper offers more detailed journey planner information than Google, including real-time departures and disruption alerts, as well as Uber integration and cycle routes. It can be used in 30 cities worldwide – including London – covering all of the top city-break destinations. It even tells users how long their journey would take by jetpack! Useless information unless you’re a secret scientific genius, but good information to give you a chuckle when your train’s delayed.
We all know how hard it is to keep everything together when we’ve planned a trip ourselves. Tripit pulls together travel information from confirmation emails for flights, hotels, rental cars, events bookings and converts it into a single itinerary.Users just need to forward all emails to the app and the itinerary can then be shared with all travellers, making it a brilliant tool for co-ordinating travel plans.
Gogobot is perfect for those travellers who like to plan ahead. It helps users to plan itineraries offline, which can easily be updated. Users can also recommend different attractions, accommodation options and locations, much like TripAdvisor, so that if someone is searching for something specific they can see what like-minded travellers have enjoyed.
Much like Gogobot, Field Trip is a great app for collaborating itineraries – but it takes it a step further. Operating in the background, the app is able to alert travellers of interesting attractions based on proximity.The app acts like a guide book, populating results from publications like Zagat, Thrillist and TimeOut and then notifying the user when they get close to an attraction that meets the parameters they’ve set.
Your hotel’s app
Of course, you don’t want to forget about an app for your hotel as well. With users engaging more often with apps rather than websites, you’d likely see a lower bounce rate if you have an app that allows users to make bookings, see hotel information and submit any questions they may have.
Obviously, in order for these apps to be beneficial to your hotel you need to be visible on them. To ensure that you’re being picked up on the apps, make sure that your hotel has a presence on the different websites where information is taken from to populate them. In addition, you should look out for the apps that require partnership in order to be featured, as this can be a brilliant platform to stand out from your competitors and really increase those bookings. Try to stay up-to-date with the latest apps that are being used. Their popularity can quickly rise and fall, so you need to constantly be seeking the latest trends to ensure that your hotel is seen as a top choice for travellers.