The importance for hoteliers’ to capitalise on the growing trend for consumers using mobile technology to make hotel reservations is immediate and key to their success.
According to a study undertaken by hotel portal HRS, mobile reservations tripled between 2010 and 2011. The company report that of total sales, mobile reservations reached around 3% in 2011. They expect this to double in 2012. HRS predict that by 2014, one in five business trips will be booked from tablet PCs or smartphones. They report that nearly one third of business travellers have made a hotel reservation from a mobile device.
In a recent article in hotel-industry.co.uk it was reported that 19% of all hotel queries occur through a mobile device, according to early estimates from Google.
Jon West, Managing Director of HRS UK and Ireland said:
“Mobile applications have become a significant sales channel for HRS and its hotel partners. The high annual growth rates confirm the increasing significance of mobile solutions.”
Mobile Reservations ‘on the go’
The spontaneity and flexibility of using a mobile booking tool is ideal for the busy business traveller who can make reservations ‘on the go’ to accommodate a last minute meeting or reschedule their stay due to circumstantial changes.
Hotels can also harness mobile technology to send reminders and promote their restaurant offers. As reported in a recent hotel-industry.co.uk article Premier Inn have reduced their ‘no show’ rates by 21% and increased restaurant bookings by sending text reminders and restaurant offers. An average text message is read within 4 minutes as opposed to an average e mail which is read within 48 hours, demonstrating that mobile technology is essential for growth and success in attracting the customer and obtaining bookings.
Robert Dawson, Vice President of Internet Marketing and Web Development for Sabre Hospitality Solutions states;
“The exponential growth in mobile traffic reinforces its role as a consumer tool to navigate life across cultural and geographical boundaries. As smartphones get smarter, they present infinitely more opportunities to empower the hospitality industry and their consumer.”
The growing trend for using mobile reservation tools should certainly be explored. The evidence and arguments for investment in mobile reservations technology should clearly not be ignored by today’s hotelier.