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Mobile: The next platform for travel.
Thursday, 16th April 2009
Source : PhoCusWright
The vast potential of mobile hinges on more than what you can do, it is about where you do it.

M-commerce is a transformative new platform quickly changing the way consumers interact with travel brands. It may be hard to imagine that travelers booking a big vacation from start to finish using mobile devices, but they have already started to research and buy travel options and upgrades while on the go.

M-commerce will eventually become as commonplace as online shopping. In a new report surveying the frontiers of mobile commerce in the U.S. and Europe, PhoCusWright's Mobile: The Next Platform for Travel reviews mobile technologies, explores traveler's attitudes toward mobile functionality, and quantifies the growth and business value of mobile as a communication and booking channel.

"Mobile travel applications can serve as a convenience to travelers, but they also represent significant potential for travel companies to promote cost efficiencies and create new revenue streams," states report author and PhoCusWright technology analyst, Cathy Schetzina.

According to this new report, U.S. travel industry bookings will reach US$291 billion in 2010 and online transactions will top $90 billion. The report projects mobile bookings to reach $160 million during the same period. While the revenue figures remain low, there exists a vast potential for growth for mobile applications that empower mobile travelers, improve travel efficiency and build ancillary revenue.

Consumers with newer mobile devices are ready for advanced functionality. The survey finds that 67% of travelers and 77% of frequent business travelers with Web-enabled mobile devices have used the mobile Web to find local services and attractions. Topping the list among preferred features: 53% of leisure travelers want real-time flight information. Location-based services are also expanding in use and popularity, frequent business travelers expect to receive services such as mapping, navigation services and city guides upon arriving at a destination.

Recalling the revolution TV brought to a business world hooked on radio as a case study, mobile has the potential to reshape the entire travel marketplace. Consumers can expect airlines that offer mobile barcode boarding passes, hotels offering mobile payments for on-site charges and OTAs launching geo-aware travel promotions.

Ms. Schetzina adds, "Mobile travel is about more than providing a miniature-sized version of a Web site on a smaller screen—it opens up opportunities for a range of context-aware applications that will transform the way travelers and travel companies interact."

PhoCusWright's Mobile: the Next Platform for Travel offers new insights for travel executives seeking to capitalize on early growth in m-commerce. It is available for purchase at www.phocuswright.com and is included in the Global and Technology Edition research subscriptions.

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