University of Wisconsin - Stout 1                                                             Trends Assessment: Mobile Bo...
University of Wisconsin - Stout 2                                                                Trends Assessment: Mobile...
University of Wisconsin - Stout 3                                                                 Trends Assessment: Mobil...
University of Wisconsin - Stout 4                                                                  Trends Assessment: Mobi...
University of Wisconsin - Stout 5                                                                 Trends Assessment: Mobil...
University of Wisconsin - Stout 6                                                                 Trends Assessment: Mobil...
University of Wisconsin - Stout 7                                                             Trends Assessment: Mobile Bo...
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Official trends paper


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Mobile booking and its impact on the hospitality, travel, and tourism industry.

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Official trends paper

  1. 1. University of Wisconsin - Stout 1 Trends Assessment: Mobile Booking Trends Assessment: Mobile Booking Cassidy Capriglione, Jacob Edeburn, Calvin Carpenter HT 344 Hospitality and Tourism Marketing and Sales 10/3/12HT 344 Jake Edeburn, Cassidy Capriglione, Calvin Carpenter
  2. 2. University of Wisconsin - Stout 2 Trends Assessment: Mobile BookingHistorical Overview We live in a generation where technology cannot be ignored and the hospitality industryis catching on to that very quickly. Mobile hotel booking is becoming more popular toconsumers than the average property-direct booking. Consumers are rapidly evolving andadapting to the newest technologies and it is up to the hotels to accommodate their needs.“Consumers care about choice, they care about transparency, and they care about convenience.”Thirty five percent of all travel searches are from mobile devices, and it is predicted to increaseto forty five percent in the next year. Consumers are ultimately looking for room availability andpricing information, and about one third of online travelers are interested in using their mobiledevice to make the final purchase when it comes to mobile booking. Apple iPhones,BlackBerrys, Androids, and other mobile devices are to thank for this growing trend due to themany hotel/travel apps and websites they can provide. In the past two years, the percentage ofusers using mobile devices to shop for trips has climbed from eleven percent in 2010 to sixteenpercent in 2011. Smartphones and mobile devices are most likely going to be embraced by theyounger travel groups, and the reason is obvious, we live in a technological world now. It is upto hotel and travel companies to create options for the consumer and they also need to determinethe best strategy for them as a company. Companies need to realize, if they haven’t already, thateveryone is an individual and every individual likes different options. The reason behind thepopularity to mobile hotel/travel booking is because consumers are very time constrained andthey are price sensitive. Companies need to find the best strategy whether it is creating a personalapp for a mobile device, or an easily accessible mobile site that provides consumers with thecorrect data they need to ensure an easy, and convenient travel experience. With that said, mobileweb users are predicted to surpass traditional desktop internet users by the year of 2014. If hotelsand travel marketers keep that in mind and if they make necessary adjustments, it can provide abusiness with huge revenue opportunities along with a strong competitive advantage ifdistribution and marketing is done correctly.Case Study One Hotel Tonight is a last minute hotel booking app and it has had a pretty significant year.The company is taking in millions of dollars’ worth of funding and it has expanded outside of theU.S. The company is now focusing on personalizing the app for individual users that have Appleproducts and Androids. The hotel is also doing something they have never done before which isdipping into user reviews. The whole principle of Hotel Tonight has been to present users with ashort list of hotels the company recommended. Now the app provides thumbs up, thumbs downratings which are giving users more individual information about a hotel and whether theyshould pick it. Hotel Tonight does not work with every hotel; they use a rating system todetermine which hotels should be on their app by using a percentage ranking. If a hotel fallsbelow a ninety one percent, the Hotel Tonight app will stop working with that hotel. AnotherHT 344 Jake Edeburn, Cassidy Capriglione, Calvin Carpenter
  3. 3. University of Wisconsin - Stout 3 Trends Assessment: Mobile Bookingimportant feature that Hotel Tonight is offering is three bonus “impulse deal” hotels to eachdestination city’s screen. This feature will get better and better the more a customer uses itbecause it customizes the first hotel options based on picks a customer has made in the past.Hotel Tonight is using the same techniques Amazon has been using for years. I believe that thisis a big step in the right direction for Hotel Tonight. They are playing off of the idea thatAmazon has developed to make searches easier for customers who have this app. I have aniPhone 4S and after reading this article I downloaded the app so I could really understand it and Iam extremely impressed by the entire layout. The app asked the customer if they can take their“current location” and if you are in an area where they have listings for hotels, they will showyou the available rooms. They also offer great pictures of each hotel that can be viewed with justthe slide of a finger and this improvement to mobile booking makes last minute travel easier thanever. The one down side that the app could improve on would be to have more city options. Irealize that might be a stretch considering they are only focusing on highly populated areas andthat each hotel has to fall under a percentage ranking to be in Hotel Tonight app, but it issomething that they could consider a few years from now.Case Study Two There are many hotel and tourism companies that feel the need to come out with an appto adapt with the growing mobile booking trend, while that might be the case for most hotels, itis not the case for the team. They realized that they are a single destination offering,and customers need a window of time for planning a trip to Las Vegas. With that large amount oftime between those trips, they realized that people would delete the app after they have gone onthe trip and possible would not download it again until they planned another Vegas encounter.They came to the conclusion that a mobile site ( was far more efficient thancreating an app. The company’s mobile website features information in six areas; hotel rooms,show tickets, deals, flights and hotel packages, tours and nightclubs. This site gives users an easyopportunity to book and buy tickets, tours, and packages on the go during a trip to Las Vegas.Another special feature they offer is the ability to browse same day discounts because thecompany noticed that at least sixty percent of users were booking products and services for usewithin a few days from booking it. This site was created with the intention that the users alreadyknow what they want to see and do and it is recommended that a user creates an account prior togoing on the trip for easier access. If travelers have any issues with the website process there isan easy access toll-free number that appears in the site if assistance is needed. I believe this is acreative resource that does not follow the norm of creating an app. They realized that customersdo not necessarily need an app but an easily accessible mobile resource. Mobile technology is on the rise for every industry and another industry that needs to bejust as connected with consumers as the hospitality field is retail. Many retail companies are nowdeveloping mobile couponing apps. Most of these coupons are offering daily deals but are notexclusive to only that, and it is said by 2013 almost one third of smartphone users will beHT 344 Jake Edeburn, Cassidy Capriglione, Calvin Carpenter
  4. 4. University of Wisconsin - Stout 4 Trends Assessment: Mobile Bookingredeeming discounts on the go. Geopon is unlike any normal couponing store, they offer manyfeatures such as payment, coupons, and loyalty, and entire wallet solution on your mobile device.The app has not yet launched, it still has to undergo final testing for Android users, but weshould be expecting an iPhone app in just a few weeks. The mobile couponing industry isexpected to generate more than $43 billion in global redemptions by 2016; it is another trend thatshould not be ignored. Another business that is using mobile technology to its advantage isDunkin’ Donuts. They have developed an app that lets customers pay through a virtual debit cardvia barcode scan and it enables customers to send Dunkin’ gifts through email, text, or socialmedia sites. The owner of Dunkin’ Donuts realized that this is what the customers wanted basedon the feedback from Dunkin’ Donut’s social media sites. Customers enjoy the speed andconvenience of paying with their smartphone or mobile device. This chain has also paired upwith other mobile apps such as Foursquare which allows customers to accept rewards uponchecking in to a Dunkin’ Donuts like a free hot or iced coffee. Both of these new apps fromGeopon and Dunkin’ Donuts are all ways that they can connect to the growing consumer. Mostcompanies seem to have no other option now but to keep up with consumers and how theyhandle technology if they want to have a competitive advantage over other businesses orindustries. Embracing the potential changes that lie ahead would seem like the best choice forany business that wants to stay afloat.Business Impacts and Potential Changes Currently in the Travel and Tourism industry, social media is the most dominant form ofadvertising. The industry depends on consumer’s word of mouth and the different opinions thatare spread out about their company from consumer to consumer. Social media is most often usedby today’s customers; they are easily influenced by the interests of their peers, this is a perfectway for businesses in the Travel and Tourism industry to gain feedback from its customers.Mobile booking apps have allowed companies to provide consumers with a fast and easy way tofind their stay. This trend is growing in the industry as four percent of travelers have access tothese mobile apps and is expected to increase to fifteen percent in 2012. Mobile booking is alsocheaper for companies to use, rather than to have an operator handle the transaction. Whentravelers access mobile booking through an app, they are instantly presented with several dates,prices, hotels, and flights that they can access. This is beneficial to the traveler because he or shemay not always get this information while speaking over the phone or in person to a travel agentand many companies reduce the cost of booking if it is done online. Mobile apps have giventravelers an opportunity to be flexible, by being able choose a hotel for a night’s stay at lastminute including cheaper rates and by having the convenience of cancellinga reservation at anytime if they are able to better hotel rates elsewhere. Travelers who use these apps are also able toprovide reviews, along with rating their stay which provides beneficial feedback to a company.When a satisfied traveler decides to post a comment about their stay and experiences, companiesare able to use the positive feedback and promote their business. When there is negativeHT 344 Jake Edeburn, Cassidy Capriglione, Calvin Carpenter
  5. 5. University of Wisconsin - Stout 5 Trends Assessment: Mobile Bookingfeedback, managers and owners can improve their business by correcting different issues thatmay have caused that negative experience. Feedback gives managers and owners the informationthey need in order to help their company provide the best experience possible for travelers. Many companies in the Travel and Tourism industry have adapted to the use of mobileapps for booking to compete with their competitors and benefit travelers. Google has reportedthat hotel mobile searches have increased by an astonishing three thousand percent and twentypercent of searches are done with a mobile device. In the United States it is becoming more andmore common to have a smartphone.Smartphones count for almost one third of all mobiledevices sold and mobile usage is surpassing print publications along with travel brochures. Thereare nearly seventy five million smartphone users and that is expected to increase by one hundredmillion in 2014. The mobile app trend in the future will be much more sophisticated. Hotels, for example,that provide a mobile app in the future will allow guests to use their smartphone to perform thebasic functions of a hotel such as, using their device as a key to their room, order room service,or to check in and out of a room. If companies in the hospitality industry want to continue thesuccess they have had in the past, they need to acknowledge the future and provide mobilebooking for guests. Many companies have yet to provide mobile booking, but the future looksbright as fifty percent of companies have considered providing a mobile application forsmartphones. Companies in the hospitality industry need to provide mobile applications forsmart phone users if they want to stay in competition with their competitors and move forward asan organization. In order to compete with competition in the industry companies need toadvertise on their mobile apps so that guests can see they are gaining a benefit in some way.Companies can advertise lower prices, better service, customer focus, and attention gettingproducts which will attract travelers and guests to their company. One company that is catchingon to the idea of using mobile devices to attract customers is the Lake Arrowhead Golf Course inNekoosa, Wisconsin.Interview Joel Barth is the Director of Golf at Lake Arrowhead Golf Course and has worked in thegolf and resort industry for 30 years. His expertise is mostly in operating the golf course, but hasexpert knowledge in resorts and hotels. According to Joel many people won’t consider travelingto play at a golf course unless they can find an affordable, well maintained hotel. He also statedthat in many cases it is a family vacation where the adults may play golf, but there needs to besomething for the children to enjoy as well. Joel has seen firsthand how mobile booking hasaffected the golf and tourism industry. It is now easier for someone to book a tee time and findthe nearest hotel in their price range. There is no doubt that mobile booking has played a majorrole in not only booking hotel stays, but also tee times at golf courses. Many golf courses nowdays have learned to adapt with the times and use social media to advertise.HT 344 Jake Edeburn, Cassidy Capriglione, Calvin Carpenter
  6. 6. University of Wisconsin - Stout 6 Trends Assessment: Mobile Booking “New this year Lake Arrowhead is now on Facebook and Twitter and we have seen apositive reaction from our members and public players who have found our golf course throughthese social media websites, I would say it has been a success,” Joel Barth stated.“We still send out monthly email specials to our e-club subscribers and have tossed around theidea of implementing the same kind of monthly specials for our Facebook friends and Twitterfollowers,” says Joel Barth. “When it comes to mobile booking, I love the idea, but we just don’t have the rightcliental with our members all being older to invest in it at this moment. I see Lake Arrowheadusing mobile booking in the future, but right now it is just something we cannot afford to do,”says Joel Barth.Mobile booking has played a pivotal role in golf courses’ way to maximize their tee sheets.Golfers can now book tee times anytime of the day or night without even calling or stopping intothe golf course. It is a major benefit to a golf course if golfers are able to book tee times evenwhen the golf shop is closed. Mobile booking is revolutionizing the golf and hotel industry bymaking it easier for customers to make reservations on the fly. The use of mobile devices for any tourism related task has a very bright future, manycompanies are adapting to this trend to perfect their company and compete with theircompetitors. Not only is the hospitality industry catching on, other business are developing newtactics for this trend as well. The consumer is forever changing and it is up to companies to listento what they have to stay and it is also their job to come up with innovative ideas to keep tocustomer involved in their business or company.HT 344 Jake Edeburn, Cassidy Capriglione, Calvin Carpenter
  7. 7. University of Wisconsin - Stout 7 Trends Assessment: Mobile BookingBibliography: 344 Jake Edeburn, Cassidy Capriglione, Calvin Carpenter