Half of hotel bookings to be made via mobile by 2017

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The growing proliferation of mobile devices is already having a massive impact on the business travel industry, with growing numbers of passengers using smartphones and tablets to make travel arrangements, from booking flights and arranging car hire to reserving hotel rooms.

Now, according to Travel Daily News International, new figures from hotel solutions provider HRS have shown that by 2017, half of all accommodation reservations could be made via mobile apps if current trends continue.

Last year, around 12 per cent of hotel bookings made through the HRS portal came from smartphones and tablets, which is double the number made in 2012. It's why HRS has launched a new Mobile Special Tariff designed specifically for business travellers, to cater for this new demand.

It seems that, like many of the activities that are carried out on mobile devices today, booking hotel rooms via smartphones and tablets is about the need to get things done quickly while on the move. Indeed, the fast-moving nature of business travel often means making last-minute arrangements.

This is where mobile bookings trump those made through regular channels, since there is no need for travellers to wait until they are back in the office. The HRS data shows that three quarters of smartphone bookings are for same or next-day reservations.

"In the future, travellers will increasingly book hotels via smartphones, and mobile will be the dominating channel," said Tobias Ragge, chief executive of HRS. "We expect that every other booking will be made via mobile devices in three years."

A recent study by Expedia and Egencia revealed that it is younger travellers that are driving the growth in mobile bookings generally, with almost half of all those under 30 using mobile devices to plan and book travel arrangements.

And of course, mobile booking is taking off faster in some countries than it is in others. According to Tech in Asia, figures from Chinese online travel booking service Qunar show that mobile bookings in China have risen by more than 400 per cent in the last year.

It's a trend that travel management companies are having to adapt to, which is why having an online booking system that is optimised for smartphones and tablets and is able to accommodate client preferences for mobile bookings is so important.

 
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