The experts tend agree that mobile is growing quickly. Its impact on the hotel and lodging industry is expected to be great.
Recent research and report data supports the experts:
- PhoCusWright reports in its mobile usage among traveller report from ’09 that mobile bookings will reach $160 million in 2010 and 77% of frequent business travelers have already used their mobile devices to find local (e.g. lodging) and attractions.
- Even travel related search is predicted to rise. According to Google, mobile device searches for travel related terms have jumped 12 times and hotel-specific terms are up 30 times in the same period.
But what is the impact right now? You can investigate and monitor your mobile based traffic is Google Analytics, which has an entire section devoted to mobile data for your website.
Looking at Google Analytics Mobile reporting and aggregating the data for 70 lodging properties, here is how the mobile phone usage broke down, by device for the month of January 2011:
The number of visits for those 70 lodging websites averaged 1,581 visits per website in January 2010… up from 363 in January 2009. In terms of percentages, that is a move from 1.48% to 5.76%… seasonally adjusted in one year.
Whatever the case, and whatever the experts say, a lot of people are interacting with your hotel’s website through a cell phone. Make sure your website looks and works OK in an iPhone and iPad are probably the lowest hanging fruit… this typically entails NOT using Flash and making your website de-cluttered and easier to operate on a smaller screen.