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Mobile Users Eager for Travel

Nearly one-quarter of hoteliers will create an app in 2010

Many smartphone users are interested in apps that will help them on the go, and travel-related applications fit the bill.

According to data from Compete, more than four in 10 smartphone owners would find trip planning apps useful if they notified them of schedule and rate changes, consolidated itineraries or helped manage loyalty programs.

Nearly two-fifths of smartphone owners reported doing at least some of their leisure travel research on their mobile device, and more than one-quarter completed at least some of their bookings on their phone. In addition, one-fifth of smartphone owners were interested in receiving travel Website advertisements on their device.

While the industry had been slow to respond to consumer interest, app development has heated up. Hotel Internet marketing firm Hospitality eBusiness Strategies (HeBS) found that almost one-quarter of hoteliers worldwide are planning to develop an iPhone app this year.

Many also plan to get on board with SMS marketing, mobile sites and mobile booking capabilities. That should help them get a piece of the increased bookings expected via mobile this year; PhoCusWright predicts US travelers will spend $76 million on direct domestic hotel bookings through a mobile device.

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Check out today’s other article, “Retail E-Commerce Resumes Double-Digit Growth.”

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