Sunday, November 3, 2013

Travellers booking trips on tablets [ W4llppr ]

Travellers are taking to tablets to book their holidays, according to a travel trends report.

Smartphone bookings are also becoming fashionable, the report from World Travel Market (WTM) and market research company Euromonitor showed.

The report is published as the WTM four-day travel trade show opens in London.

Euromonitor is forecasting global smartphone volume sales and sales of tablets will soar over the next few years.

Euromonitor international head of travel and tourism research Caroline Bremner said: “By 2017, the mobile channel is expected to account for over 30% of online travel value sales. All the signs indicate that mobile will be at the core of customer relationships in travel.”

Although communications on the go offer great opportunities, travel firms must also be aware that they increase customer expectations, the report said.

Travellers now expected real-time answers and greater customisation, wherever they are and at any time, before, during and after the trip.

Peter Long, chief executive of TUI Travel, which includes holiday company Thomson, said: “Mobile is revolutionising customer relationships.”

WTM senior director Simon Press said: “The dominant role of tablets and apps has created an ‘always-on’ culture among consumers. Travel companies need to make sure they are engaging with consumers in this way and through these channels.”

Now in its 34th year, WTM – at the ExCeL exhibition centre in London Docklands – is expected to attract around 48,000 people this week.