7 Steps to Building a Succesful Tourism App


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A practical guide for DMOs and tourism organizations that want to get started with mobile.

Published in: Travel, Technology

7 Steps to Building a Succesful Tourism App

  1. 1. 7 steps to make a successful travel app A practical guide for travel & tourism &
  2. 2. Everplaces Global travel community, most authentic design & foodie travel tips TripTale
 World’s best travel app builder for brands and DMOs Hi there, we work with mobile every day, today we’d like to share our learnings with you.
  3. 3. Find a solid problem to solve Magazine/ iPad Inspiration, dreaming, relaxing, in my own time Website Inform, assist, inspire, brand, explain, transact, complex Mobile Action, research, now, find, share, do, fact check, personal Must be suitable to natural form STEP 1 Existing problem or use case, and actually useful Novelty features like Augmented reality and QR codes are great in concept, but we have yet to see real success using them
  4. 4. Decide your goal STEP 2 • Awareness: Apps only work for awareness if indirect, so through social spread. See loyalty. • Loyalty: Improve stay with information, happier visitors, increased margins, returns • Generate UGC: Gives indirect awareness via social, builds trust, creates photo library
  5. 5. Examples of useful, loyalty creating apps Convenience Friendly Personalized Rewards
  6. 6. First we decide what the application should be able to do, which problem does it solve? It needs to be ✓ Obvious & Easy to use ✓ Fast performing Then we prioritize and take away most features till we’re left with a simple concept. Most apps fail the very first time people open them because of too much functionality ✓ Simple Functionality STEP 3
  7. 7. Mountain High app for your next ski and snowboard experience. User interface design (UI) Yahoo weather app Spies travel agency STEP 4 Design is a deal breaker on mobile, because it has such big impact on the user experience. In the last few years the bar for good design has risen dramatically. Simple is good!
  8. 8. Too much choice
  9. 9. Visualize Use images to give info at a glance, instead of text. Every click requires effort, so work to reduce the amount of required effort from the user to make it as easy as possible to get an overview.
  10. 10. You have one chance to capture people: the first time they open the app. 48% of people who have a negative first experience is less likely to open the app again What will the user do the first 30 seconds? 1) App needs to open in 2 seconds 2) Open on overview screen or a clear use case 3) Test what people press 4) Reiterate. Hide or cut other features that confuse. Eradicate dead loops Make a killer landing experience STEP 5
  11. 11. • Favorite function • Useful information: programme, deep info, dictionary or maps • Deals or offers • Encourage internal contact, like newsletter / Facebook ‘like’ Give people a reason to come back STEP 6
  12. 12. • People don’t share just because they can. It has to make sense for them. • Make actions that instill pride, achievement, self image or helpfulness sharable. Pre-fill text and make easy • Consider integration of social media streams • Consider reviews or star rating function • Cross promote Instagram/ Twitter Encourage sharing STEP 7 ‣ Likes ‣ RT ‣ Repin Tip: Light actions are key on mobile
  13. 13. Trustworthy means transparent • Photos that are reliable (ok if primary image is photoshopped, but add extra) • Descriptions mention both the positive and negative • Make it clear why these places are recommended • Additional info: like 360 degree view, floor plan, info • Use external contributors - Bloggers or local heroes - UGC - Feeds from external sites • Ability to rate, like and comment Optimizing content for credibility Today’s hottest commodity is insider tips, and the general trend goes towards authenticity
  14. 14. Work smart. Same content, many places Central CMS You UGC Other media
  15. 15. Example of app content which is also accessible on client’s website, via a content widget
  16. 16. Example of app content as an interactive display on location, visitors can navigate with mouse
  17. 17. Economics
  18. 18. Commissioning your apps It easily costs $80,000, and takes 4 months plus specs to build a complex top tier app. But that’s very rarely required. Don’t be talked into functionality you don’t need. You can use app building platforms if you select the purpose carefully, prices from $6,000. Functionality that should be faster and cheaper ‣ Same info for all users ‣ Content filtered by location ‣ Locally stored / hardcoded ‣ One way sync that needs a backend, like places/events ‣ External feeds Functionality that’s expensive ‣ 2 way interaction, like comments and user interactions ‣ Integrations with your database ‣ User accounts, personalization ‣ Augmented reality, games, etc. ‣ Multiple languages done well
  19. 19. ‣ New technology makes it possible to re-use the base code ‣ Reduces time-to-market from around 4 months to 4-8 weeks ‣ Reduces cost by about half ‣ In our case, we specialize in visual travel and location- based apps focused on maps ‣ Enables custom apps centered around your property, your experience and offer personal service The new app-making engines
  20. 20. Pitfalls ‣ Outsourcing to cheap countries ‣ Under quoting complex features ‣ Saving money on design ‣ Agencies & web people with limited mobile experience ‣ Changing your mind along the way ‣ Not budgeting for maintenance and upkeep ‣ Expecting no iterations Commissioning your apps
  21. 21. Bonus: Three opportunities to engage and be useful in-destination.
  22. 22. Routes Cycling, trails, road trip Interest Beaches, organic farms, food, historic Demographics For families, romantic spots, gay Practical Directions/ Emergency/ Travel phrases Tailor each app to a specific target group
  23. 23. Films 
 Sound of Music, The Killings, Da Vinci Code Fame 
 Beatles Liverpool, HC Andersen’s footsteps, Tudor England, Festivals Food & Christmas Markets Use the momentum created for you Awareness is the most expensive part of marketing, so if you have waves already created, make sure to capitalize with an app that can engage deeper Food festivals bring people and revenue to the city
  24. 24. China, now the biggest travel spender
  25. 25. By Tine Thygesen, @tahitahi Thank you! Considering an app for your business? Contact chris@triptale.net for great help! &