Per Wikipedia, smart phones were first released in 1999, and became widespread by the late 2000s.
But who’s counting? Really.
While there are generations of us who remember a time, we’re far past not being dependent on our phones. It’s not the end of the world, we’re just learning much more in a much smaller amount of time because everything is at our fingertips.
That being said, apps have not been around that long, but even in that time, hotel apps have come a long way, and continue to evolve with time. The faster we consume information, the faster it needs to come flowing towards us.
This means big changes for app developers. What do people want? What can we do to make it easier to access?
It makes sense. In tech, staying stagnant could mean risking getting overtaken by a newer, more disruptive idea.
But what exactly has changed? How are classic hotel apps still managing to keep up with travel trends and their customers?
Here are some of the ways in which apps are keeping pace with consumers.
Social Input & Recommendations
It’s one thing to read articles about great travel destinations – quite another to learn about your best friend’s latest overseas adventures.
Legacy hotel and travel apps are starting to catch on to the fact that human recommendations – especially from people we know – can have a significant impact on our decision-making process.
For example, maybe you’ve been meaning to go to Italy on vacation, but you’ve been putting it off. But what’s this? Your next-door neighbor Joe just came back from his trip in Italy, and it looks like he had a great time!
The latest apps allow you to view reviews and tips, not just from friends or family members, but also from experts. There’s a built-in social component.
We all know how prevalent social media has become. The fusion between travel recommendations and social media seems like a match made in heaven, and will undoubtedly increase business for classic hotel apps.
If you receive a notification about a special offer at a restaurant that’s 600 miles away, there’s a good chance you’re going to ignore the alert.
But thanks to geotargeting and localization, apps like Booking.com are now providing travelers with relevant and convenient recommendations for travelers.
Consumers can not only choose to receive notices about local restaurants and special offers, but they can also be notified of experiences that are tailor-made for them.
Who wouldn’t want to learn more about the locale they’re visiting? Who wants to miss out on the best sights and destinations?
The latest tech allows app companies to help consumers discover experiences they would love.
Streamlined Planning & Booking
Consumers can already book a hotel from their smartphone. But there’s a good chance this isn’t the only thing travelers need to book.
From cab rides to train tickets, the ability to book in advance would make it easier for travelers to seamlessly go from one location to the next.
This is what some apps are now beginning to offer. And while the ability to buy a bus ticket in advance is convenient enough, it isn’t too far-fetched to think that – in the fast-approaching future – you’ll even be able to travel across an entire town with a single ticket.
It will come to the point where you’ll even be able to see how busy a train or bus is before you ever board it, which would allow for better planning.
Increased Customization & Personalization
Wearable tech and IoT means the ability to track behavioral patterns. Thanks to Big Data, apps are beginning to offer more customized recommendations based a traveler’s past trips.
Imagine being able to track your budget, travel route, time, and all relevant data from a single app. This is where things are headed. Traveling is about to get much easier and more convenient.
Thanks to emerging trends in tech, it’s now easier for hotels to observe consumer behavior and adapt accordingly. This means the ability to deliver more relevant recommendations and experiences to their guests at the right time.
Hotels have the opportunity to become curators of information and tastemakers in their own right. They can enhance every guest’s stay, thereby assuring increased loyalty and long-term patronage.