By Blake Ng — 17 Apr 2016
Just when you thought the Internet had changed everything about booking travel arrangements, the mobile revolution began. Since the advent of the smartphone and tablet, people have been increasingly turning to their favorite mobile devices in order to send e-mails, check their favorite social networking sites and even book hotels, tours and activities. The travel industry is quickly becoming a mobile industry, and there’s many ways that your tour and activity can benefit from this uprising.
It’s essential to have a website that is optimized for mobile devices, not only because it allows you to accept mobile bookings but also because it improves your rankings in the search engine results page. The most powerful search engines require websites to be optimized for mobile platforms in order to earn those coveted top spots. In addition, you want to think about your customers, who may want to browse your website on their phone while they ride the bus home after work or book your tours on their tablet from the comfort of their couch. A mobile-friendly website is critical in today’s tourism industry.
Real-time bookings ensure that all of your agents as well as your customers have the best, most accurate information available about your tours and activities at any given time. In addition, direct payments allow your customers to make payments for your tours in a way that is convenient for them. If your customers can’t book your tours online and immediately pay for them, they are likely to move on to another tour and activity provider who will allow them to do this. Accepting real-time bookings and direct payments is easy when you have an online booking system that automates the process.
Many major travel providers and OTAs have apps that focus on accepting mobile bookings. Some of these providers include TripAdvisor, Musement and Viator. You can list your business with these apps, which attract customers who are most interested in booking their tours and activities on a mobile device. Your listing will promote your business as a mobile-friendly tour company, and it will attract customers who are looking to quickly and easily make their reservations. List with as many apps as you can, as this will allow you to maximize the number of customers that you reach.