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Hospitality marketing – upwardly mobile

With the popularity of smart phones and tablets devices on the rise, more and more people are seeking out travel planning information on the move. With a tap or a swipe of the finger, a great nearby hotel, restaurant or attraction is more accessible to consumers than ever before. This represents a huge opportunity for businesses to reach researching travelers on the go with special offers, easy “click to call” functionality for booking, and even augmented reality features.

Mobile marketing is a huge area of growth for the hospitality industry, and many business owners are seizing the opportunity to reach travelers in exciting new ways. According to TripAdvisor’s recent U.S. Accommodation Owners survey, 27 percent of survey respondents plan to launch programs, for the first time in 2011, to engage with travelers using mobile devices. Another 27 percent indicated that they had offered such programs last year and will continue to do so this year. As part of TripAdvisor’s ongoing mission to bring innovation and ease to the holiday planning and booking experience, we have launched Virtual Tours on the TripAdvisor iPad app. This new feature uses augmented reality technology to give travelers a virtual walk-through of their travel destination.

The feature superimposes place names, along with TripAdvisor traveler ratings for hotels, restaurants, and attractions, over Street View from Google, allowing viewers to truly get the lay of the land in their travel destination before they even get there. Guests will be able to plan their trips and make decisions about where to stay, what to eat and what to do based on these virtual tours.

The new functionality is accessed by clicking on the Street View icon for hotels, restaurants or attractions. In addition, there is a wealth of other helpful travel planning features available with the app, including:

– TripAdvisor’s more than 40 million reviews and opinions for hotels, restaurants, and attractions. Travelers can even add their own reviews while their experiences are fresh.
– “Near Me Now” functionality, so travelers can determine what hotels, restaurants and attractions are nearby.
– Unique map-based browsing, giving travelers the lay of the land in their travel destination.
– Access to the TripAdvisor forums, where users can ask questions of their fellow travelers and receive helpful feedback.
– Traveler photos of hotels, restaurants, attractions and destinations.

The TripAdvisor iPad app is available for free in the Apple App Store in 18 languages and 26 countries. For more information about TripAdvisor’s mobile offerings, including our apps for the iPhone, Android, Nokia and Palm smartphones, please visit our mobile page

These new features and functionality are changing the way travelers seek out and find travel planning information, and with each evolution in technology, comes new opportunities for businesses to reach consumers with relevant information and offers.

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