Even before this “New Normal” travelers have been utilizing their mobile phones all throughout the visitor journey. Even from back in 2015, 70% of US travelers used their phones for almost everything during their travel, documented by Google’s push into travel, see this study. From flights and hotel searching to booking, to in-destination planning, up to the point of return – our internet-connected mobile phones are always our companions to help answer all our questions.
Needless to say, creating a mobile app whether it be a native or a progressive web product, greatly helps every traveler in navigating and exploring their chosen destination. Travel and tourism apps are growing prominently as it can vastly help current and future visitors in planning, navigating, and getting the most out of their trip. Now the big questions are: What do you need to know before you implement your very own destination app? What features should you consider to fully serve and engage your travelers?
Top 10 Mobile App Features that YOU Should Have!
Before you dive in here you should note that both travel and hotel apps have consistently underperformed as downloadable apps. My first recommendation based on features you require is to look at Progressive Web Apps, they require no app store download are 75% smaller on your phone, and are faster and easier to navigate. They also provide the most functionality that native apps provide.
Wayfinding, Mapping & Transportation
According to the same study as above, 61% of travelers use their mobile phones to seek direction. Therefore, incorporating your very own mapping and wayfinding solution in the app would be a big convenience especially to first-time visitors. Ensure you have clear and easy to engage local transportation options, for easy bus, train, or trolley navigation. If budget allows integrating a bus or trolley tracker to help decrease carbon output
Gamification- Interactive Trails- Ale, Wine, Historic and Outdoor
Provide easy, fun, and rewarding ways to get visitors engaged with unique experiences inside your destination. With interactive trails, you can set up local shops, businesses, and places to see with great information, local maps, and unique ways to check-in and provide feedback to other travelers.
Since not all travelers come prepared (and that is a fact!), might as well make things easier by engaging with local suggestions, preset itineraries, or custom options that they can create and add as they scroll through different attractions or locations, helping them get to places that will drive lasting experiences.
Traveler review and ratings- Especially Restaurants
According to another study, 69% percent of respondents said they would look for reviews on their phone first and another local consumer review shows that the average consumer spends 13 minutes and 45 seconds reading reviews before making a decision. Ensure visitors can book at local restaurants through Open table or directly on their website, make it easy to see menus. And of course, information and ratings to ensure the spot is right for them and their families.
International travel is easy breezy if you are multilingual, but if not, conversing will be a terrible hurdle to pass! Implementing translation services for your mobile app would be a big help to your international travelers who would love to know more about the area but could not even read or pronounce them correctly.
Social Media Integration
Travelers can’t stop checking in to different places, sharing photos, and just letting the world know where they’re at and how their experience is. Let your Destination app have this feature where they can easily share their awesome experiences with your own hashtags. This is a great way to actually raise your brand awareness.
Ticket and Reservations
Easily allow your visitors to reserve and purchase tickets for upcoming events. Let them maximize their ability to see different attractions without leaving their hotels or having to walk in. Great way to drive value for local businesses and ensure you are tracking from engagement to transaction, ensuring you can prove the effectiveness of your app.
Use new technologies like beacons and geofencing to alert travelers when they enter a certain location, attraction, or just any premise. This allows you to provide custom notifications and personalized greetings to your travelers – remember, the more you personalize their experience, the more they feel special.
Coupons and Deals
Partner with local businesses and offer deals or coupons for a specified time. Promote attractions and other local amenities by giving one-off discounts to certain purchases. This can also be tied up to Loyalty options and point systems, but depending on how you position your program. As well look to have a redemption process with your coupons that way you know who, when, and where your visitors are engaging. s
Generate additional revenue streams by implementing ad options for businesses and stakeholders to utilize. Feature different ad options that compliment your app’s design so it drives value and doesn’t distract your users from using your app.
There has never been a better time to invest in mobile and new ways to connect to local businesses. When built properly you should have a tool that helps your reduce paper, increase engagement, and drives better experiences for your visitors. Give us a ring and talk to some of our mobile experts there are several options and many solutions for any budget.
Contact us at [email protected] or call 833-300-6664 to get a tech specialist to help you with your marketing and travel experience goals.