Over the past year, I’ve seen a lot written about mobile travel. But what is it? The term covers a huge range of topics: mobile enhanced websites, travel services available on the go, travel tracking systems… you name it, it can probably be done mobile.
I was lucky enough to sit in on a very interesting seminar back in 2009 at the World Travel Market in London and heard from some industry experts on this topic. One very interesting section was presented by Chris LaRose from Hilton. Chris really knows his stuff on mobile travel – you only have to look at what Hilton have developed to see that. As far as I am aware, they were the first major chain to develop a mobile site, so their content could be seen via mobile phone browsers, and their site is still by far the easiest to use. And, as I blogged about last time, they have very impressive App’s for the iPhone/iPod Touch were you are able to connect, browse and book hundreds of Hilton properties around the world.
Another part of this “mobile travel” that interests me, is the tracking and helpful devices that aid you on your travels. There are several on the market, some available through TMC’s or websites. Things like Amadeus’ Checkmytrip.com have been around a while, and have even gone mobile so you can view this over your phone’s web browser, but there are even more sophisticated tools now. Such as assistants that text message you each flight, hotel and car booking detail present on PNR’s – the key being the right information sent at the right time. These services also offer such services as mobile expense management, itinerary messaging, direct keyword contact via SMS to your booking agent, local destination information – there are even solutions to manage an employers corporate responsibility – knowing where your people and if they are active during a crisis.
Technology is moving at a fast pace – and the key to success in the mobile zone? The right information, at the right time, when the traveller wants it. Too much information, too often, and a fantastic service on the go becomes a hassle.