Travel Searches Leave Google Behind
Difficult as it is to imagine, Travel Daily News international says that in the all-important, lucrative travel space, mobile phone manufacturers look ready to take over from Google as major technology players in the travel and tourism business.
Working with the World Travel Market’s Global Trends Report out of London, both Travel Daily News and Opodo Travel News say that smart phone and other technologies “could soon take over from search engines as the most important players in European travel.”
It's already happening.
Travel research data from Industry Wire says that giants like Google are being rejected in favor of social media “such as Facebook" as a portal to access all their information, as well as seek to access travel via purpose built applications. Already 34% of UK travelers polled said they use their mobile device (not Google) to find travel information; 29% to check reservations, and a huge 25% of the 1,200 people polled said they use their mobile devices to book accommodations.
And that's where the money is.
The biggest boost to the use of mobile devices to conduct travel-related transactions is the rapid growth of location based applications, accessible only via mobile devices and GPS.
These services like Facebook’s new Places and Deals and Foursquare and Gowalla deliver deals, discounts and location-specific opportunities to travelers, and in the process, "hook" them into using only their mobile device for their on-going travel needs and plans.
Look for our upcoming post on "Leveraging Location Based Marketing."
What’s really impressive, is that there seems to be no signs of the mobile travel technology market maturing.
Fiona Jeffrey, World Travel Market Chairman, says that the trend will continue and “smart phone manufacturers will become more important to travel than search engines.”
Google will unlikely be left in the dust. We suspect the nimble giant will adapt, adjust and not leave travel search-related revenue on the table.